Count Basie: Blee Blop Blues (issued as "Normania")


Blee Blop Blues (issued as "Normania")


Count Basie Orchestra


Kansas City Powerhouse (Bluebird 82876514052)

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Count Basie (piano), Clark Terry (trumpet), William 'Weasel' Parker (tenor sax),

Emmett Berry, Jimmy Nottingham, Harry “Sweets” Edison (trumpets), Dicky Wells, Ted Donnelly, George Matthews (trombones), C.Q. Price, Earle Warren (alto saxes), Paul Gonsalves (tenor sax), Jack Washington (baritone sax), Freddie Green (guitar), Singleton Palmer (bass), Butch Ballard (drums)


Composed by A.K. Salim


Recorded: New York, August 5, 1949


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

One of the last recordings by the original Count Basie Orchestra, this composition is the work of A.K. Salim, who would go on to write for Tito Puente and Dizzy Gillespie. Even though the title as originally issued is an early tribute to Norman Granz (who would later sign Basie to his Clef record label), the name of the piece really was "Blee Blop Blues," perhaps the most bop-flavored piece this ensemble would ever play. The recording also reveals the actual tempo of the piece. (In addition, some of the original parts exist, showing that the introduction was longer.) When Basie put together a new group in 1951, this piece became a cornerstone in the book, and as each year went by, the tempo became faster and faster until the band could barely play it without someone making a mistake, which hardly mattered as audiences loved it. Solos are by Terry and Parker.

Reviewer: Jeff Sultanof

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