King Cole Trio: One O'Clock Jump

Nat King Cole must have been quite a Basie fan. The King Cole Trio had quite a few Basie tunes in its repertoire, and in its set of transcriptions for Capitol, there are versions of "Lester Leaps In", "Rock-A-Bye Basie", "Swingin' The Blues" and "One O'Clock Jump", The latter piece may be the best illustration of how Basie's style melded into bop. Cole was a proto-bopper at best, but his harmonic language was allied with the new music, and here, as Cole performs his best Basie imitation, we hear the spareness of Basie with richer chords than Basie would have played. Oscar Moore's guitar solo shows his roots to Charlie Christian, and Johnny Miller follows the example of Walter Page in walking a chorus under the light touch of his pianist/leader. There is an interesting mix of material in the closing riffs. The first chorus is an original line, supposedly designed by the trio but based on a line from the band arrangement, the second and third choruses are from the original band arrangement and the last is a boppish variation that moves the piece into a new harmonic direction. Basie was aware of the harmonic evolution that was occuring in the music at this time, but I wonder if ever heard this side, and if so, what he thought of it.

September 05, 2009 · 0 comments


Benny Goodman: One O'Clock Jump

While his inter-personal skills left much to be desired, Benny Goodman cared about his band and was always interested in making his musicians sound good. When it came to programming the 1938 Carnegie Hall jazz concert, he must have realized that he and the band would be nervous, so Goodman programmed the opening set to get everyone comfortable as they got used to their new surroundings. First up was "Don't Be That Way", a song that swings well in almost any tempo, then a familiar Fletcher Henderson arrangement on "Sometimes I'm Happy", which the band had probably played every night of its existence. If that wasn't enough to calm everyone onstage down, there was a big band blues, namely "One O'Clock Jump". Picking this piece was a no-brainer: it was the theme song of the Count Basie Band, which was gaining popularity by the week, and Basie himself was at Carnegie that night to play in the jam session. Further, "One O'Clock Jump" was a good framework for a big band blues--the riffs were engaging and the key change from F to D-flat was a reliable way to raise the energy in the band. Jess Stacy's opening solo is an obvious homage to Basie, but Stacy wisely knew Basie's roots, and there is more stride in Stacy's tribute than Basie might have played himself. Babe Russin was no Herschel Evans or Lester Young, but he had listened to both tenormen and his solo has the tone of Evans and the light rhythm of Young. Vernon Brown plays a swaggering trombone solo followed by Goodman. The clarinetist gets the most solo room, but he makes great use of it, especially when he gets the rhythm section to bring the volume down behind him. Pulling off a simple but spontaneous musical gesture like that can change the course of a concert and inspire the musicians. It also showed any non-believers in Carnegie that jazz was not always loud and brash. After Goodman, Stacy gets another spot before Harry James steps up for a short but warm-toned solo. Krupa boosts the band up as they play through the final band riffs.

September 04, 2009 · 0 comments


Count Basie: One O'Clock Jump

With his customary sparse piano, wily Bill B. sets the stage for this easygoing anthem of the Swing Era. Big-toned tenorman Herschel Evans takes the first solo, followed by slurry-toned trombonist George Hunt. Next, light-footed tenorman Lester Young weaves among muted trumpets with the grace of a pickpocket at a Fraternal Order of Police convention. After suave trumpeter Buck Clayton takes the final solo, wily Bill B. cues the sectional soli that served as a model for every big band west of Long Island and east of Catalina: riffing saxes, pinpointing trombones and punctuating trumpets. When one o'clock jumps like this, there's no bedtime for Basie.

November 09, 2007 · 0 comments


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