University Jazz Ensemble
Swingin¿ the Blues: Music of the Count Basie Orchestra
Along with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Basie band has been one of the most enduring big bands in jazz history. Beginning as a ¿territory band¿ in Kansas City and the US Southwest, the orchestra remained steeped in the blues as it absorbed Western swing, down home boogie-woogie, big-city stride piano, and jazz modernism, all the while projecting the Count¿s urbane sophistication. Renowned for its tight rhythm section and abundant solos from a long line of distinctive improvisers, the band commissioned music from many of the best arrangers and composers in the business.
Our exploration of the Basie style takes us back to its roots in the 1930s and 40s (¿the Old Testament¿) that featured innovative soloists such as Lester Young, Jo Jones, Harry ¿Sweets¿ Edison, Eddie Durham, and many others. Sadly, most big bands did not survive beyond the early 1950s, but Basie endured by reinventing himself (¿the New Testament¿) with the help of arrangers such Neal Hefti, Billy Byers, and Frank Foster and a new crop of exciting improvisors. We conclude our concert with a modernist composition Basie commissioned from Thad Jones and the ever-popular Basie theme song, ¿One O¿Clock Jump.¿
Alex Stewart, director. Free and open to the public.
For more information, contact Music Department at 802-656-3040 or email@example.com.