Count Basie

William “Count” Basie was an American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer. Basie led his jazz orchestra almost continuously for nearly 50 years. Many notable musicians came to prominence under his direction, including tenor saxophonists Lester Young and Herschel Evans, trumpeters Buck Clayton and Harry “Sweets” Edison and singers Jimmy Rushing and Joe Williams. Basie’s theme songs were “One O’Clock Jump” and “April In Paris”. #


  • All I wanted was to be big, to be in show business and to travel. . . and that’s what I’ve been doing all my life.

  • Well, if you find a note tonight that sounds good, play the same damn note every night!

  • Tap your foot (in response to a question from on 60 Minutes regarding what his music was all about.)

  • I, of course, wanted to play real jazz. When we played pop tunes, and naturally we had to, I wanted those pops to kick! Not loud and fast, understand, but smoothly and with a definite punch.

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