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Saturday, January 27, 2018

A Night At Count Basie's Featuring Joe Williams

Sent For Yesterday
A Night At Count Basie's
Featuring Joe Williams, Blues and Ballad Singer
Vanguard Recording Society, Inc. VRS-8508

Emmett Berry - Trumpet
Marlowe Morris - Organ
Bobby Donaldson - Drums
Vic Dickenson - Trombone
Bobby Henderson - Piano
Aaron Bell - Bass

From the back cover: Joe Williams, that fine singer with the Basie band, had a big "Welcome Home" party there on the night of October 22, 1956, and Vanguard was on hand with its recording equipment for the entire evening. Count Basie (courtesy of Clef Records and Norman Granz) was master of ceremonies, host, and organizer of the musical proceedings.

Ordinarily, a small, crowded bar would be the last site in the world for a recording session. The sounds of telephones, cash registers, customers, and even plumbing are just as likely to be picked up by the microphones as the music itself. Vanguard has recorded it all for posterity, and the lisetener is cautioned not to rush for the phone during "Canadian Sunset". The bartenders were just too busy serving drinks to answer it.

Joe Williams has been voted singer of the year by Down Beat and many other magazines. He joined the Basie band less than two years ago, and almost immediately captivated the music world with his singing of blues and ballads. This is the very first time he has been recorded on location with a small group of blues specialists like Marlowe Morris on organ, Vic Dickenson, trombone, Emmett Berry, trumpet, and the drums and bass of Bobby Donaldson and Aaron Bell. There is also a rented Mason and Hamlin spinet, which was played some of the time by Bobby Henderson, Billie Holiday's first great accompanist. – Notes by John Hammond
Also from the back cover: The Vanguard Jazz Showcase was produced under the supervision of the distinguished jazz critic and commentator, John Hammond. The Vanguard Jazz Showcase was instituted in cooperation with the noted jazz magazine, Down Beat, to record creative jazz for the first time with wide range high fidelity reproduction. Its aim is also to give full range to musical ideas of the best contemporary jazz performers, and to win attention for previously unrecognized talent.

From Billboard - February 23, 1957: John Hammond taped a sensational session at Count Basie's Bar in Harlem and this disk is the result. Basie himself serves as a informal emcee on the disk, introducing the numbers and the blowers and at one point, even introducing Leonard Feather, who in turn opens the curtain on Joe Williams. Williams contributes three great blues jobs in "More Than One For My Baby," "Sent For You Yesterday," and "I Want A Little Girl." Then the sitters-in – Emmett Berry, Bobby Donaldson, Vic Dickenson, Aaron Bell with some outstanding ad lib blowing by Marlowe Morris on organ and Bobby Henderson on piano, take their turns in five other swinging improvisation. Sound on this disk is superior and it's very solid, salable stuff.

More Than One For My Baby
Too Marvelous For Words
Sent For You Yesterday
I Want A Little Girl
Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone
Canadian Sunset

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