Count Basie: Dance of the Gremlins


Dance of the Gremlins


Count Basie (piano)


Count Basie and his Orchestra, 1943-1945 (Classics 801)

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Count Basie (piano), Freddie Green (guitar), Walter Page (bass), Jo Jones (drums),

Buck Clayton, Harry Edison, and Snooky Young (trumpets), Eli Robinson, Buster Scott, Louis Taylor, Dicky Wells (trombones), Earle Warren (alto sax), Jack Washington, Caughey Roberts (alto & baritone saxes), Don Byas, Buddy Tate (tenor saxes)


Composed by Count Basie


Recorded: Hollywood, CA, July 1943


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

As evidenced throughout "Dance of the Gremlins," Jo Jones was the undisputed king of maintaining a swinging hi-hat pulse while communicating with the band through a snare or bass-drum punch. Walter Page never one to phone in a bassline created some of the first great directional bass performances that advanced the role of the bassist to the primary rhythmic and harmonic source. Basie and Green never seem to get in each other's way as they alternate rhythmic pulse and harmonic support. The laid-back beat placement and inventive dynamic variation of all four players throughout "Gremlins" (and nearly every other Basie track, for that matter) modernized and expanded the possibilities of the rhythm section.

It is the goal of every great rhythm section to sound like a singular, compact, swinging unit while simultaneously imparting their individual personalities into the music. None better epitomized this than the fabled "All American Rhythm Section" of Basie, Green, Page and Jones.

Reviewer: Eric Novod

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