Count Basie (with Sarah Vaughan and Joe Williams): Teach Me Tonight

Vaughan and Basie were regulars at the jazz club Birdland on Broadway in New York City; Williams was still the vocalist with the Count's ensemble. All were on career highs and signed to Roulette Records. It was natural that label head Morris Levy would combine Basie and Vaughan for a record album. According to Frank Foster, "Teach Me Tonight" was the song of choice when Vaughan would drop by the club and sit in with the band, and she and Williams would "break up the house every time." The familiarity of the material shows in the performance by Vaughan and Williams, which crackles with excitement; clearly these two are having a great time with this roaring Wilkins setting. This performance is a standout by all participants, and is a deserved classic. Ironically, it was only available briefly on Roulette single #4273 until it was issued on CD in 1996. Equally ironic, Basie himself was missing from the proceedings; the pianist was Ms. Vaughan's regular accompanist, Kirk Stuart.

December 27, 2007 · 0 comments


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