Joe Williams with Count Basie and His Orchestra: Come Rain Or Come Shine


Come Rain Or Come Shine


Joe Williams (vocals) and Count Basie (piano)


The Greatest!! (Verve 833 774)

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Joe Williams (vocals), Count Basie (piano),

Wendell Culley, Reunald Jones, Thad Jones, Joe Newman (trumpets), Henry Coker, Bill Hughes, Benny Powell (trombones), Marshall Royal, Bill Graham, Frank Wess, Frank Foster, Charlie Fowlkes (reeds), Freddie Green (guitar), Eddie Jones (bass), Sonny Payne (drums)


Composed by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer, arranged by Buddy Bregman


Recorded: Los Angeles, May 1, 1956


Rating: 87/100 (learn more)

The Greatest!! was the second album by Joe Williams with the Count Basie Orchestra. It was designed to show that Williams was more than just Basie’s new blues shouter, and that he was a superb interpreter of ballads and standards. Williams’ mastery at ballads grew more sophisticated in his later years, but on this version of “Come Rain Or Come Shine”, his simple and straightforward approach hews to Harold Arlen’s original tempo marking of “slowly and very tenderly”. What is not tender is Buddy Bregman’s arrangement, which leans too heavily on sudden blasts from the brass. Perhaps Bregman was attempting to create a contrast with Williams’ earnest delivery, but the idea just doesn’t work. Instead, the mood created by Williams is disrupted by the band. Still, Williams makes the best of it all with a very fine vocal performance.

Reviewer: Thomas Cunniffe

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