TAS Super LP List! Special Merit: Informal
Numbered, Limited Edition! Mastered from the Original Master Tapes! Pressed at RTI!
Swinging Hard and Heavy With Orchestral Support, Live Big-Band Album Recorded During the Count's Warm-Up Sets for Sinatra in Early 1966 in Vegas
Incredible Sound: Mastered from the Original Master Tapes, Reissue Improves Upon Renowned Dynamics, Presence, Crispness, and Balances
Long Out-of-Print, Seminal Classic is Perfect Complement to Sinatra at the Sands (MFSL 2-332).
Also Available on Hybrid SACD from Mobile Fidelity (MOBSA2113).
Count Basie and Frank Sinatra had the perfect arrangement at the Sands. Before the Chairman hit the stage in Vegas, Count Basie and his big band warmed up the already enthusiastic crowd with a brief set of their own. A dynamite entertainer, the legendary leader causes hearts to race, hips to shake, and fingers to snap with high-energy readings of his trademark swing music, taken to feverish heights by both his first-rate orchestra and the incredibly swank setting. Fortunately, the finest of Basie and Co.s introductory performances from the historic 1966 dates have been preserved here and serve as a seminal complement to Frank's iconic Sinatra at the Sands.
Mastered from the original master tapes and pressed at RTI, Mobile Fidelitys analog version of Live at the Sands (Before Frank) gives you a dead-center, eighth-row seat at the famed Sin City club. Youll just need to supply your own table and cocktail. Renowned for its sonic clarity, transparency, crispness, and punch, the record is now tremendously enhanced, with improved tonality, a deeper soundstage, correct balances, and life-like presence. Each horn occupies its own space, and Basies transfixing piano a focal point throughout resonates with gorgeous detail and impeccable pacing. The collectives energy almost demands to be measured with an SPL meter.
Captured in late January and early February 1966, Live at the Sands (Before Frank) contains most of Basies signature pieces delivered with an enthusiasm, style, and brassiness that exceed that gracing nearly any of the Counts studio efforts. His band is stacked to the nines, with tenor saxophonist Eddie Lockjaw Davis, saxophonist/flautist Eric Dixon, and drummer Sonny Payne among the prized cast. The Sands dates marked the first time in years that these players, as well as trombonist Al Grey, gathered onstage together.
Encouraged by Basie, the instrumentalists engage in a series of call-and-response passages and standout solos, not the least of which is Davis turn on a white-hot Jumpin at the Woodside and he and Dixons exchanges on This Could Be the Start of Something Big. No slouch, Basie approaches Makin Whoopee with graceful playfulness, and oversees the assortment of up-tempo swing numbers and mellow ballads with astute melodicism. A sublime version of the Don Gibson country standard I Cant Stop Loving You, arranged by Quincy Jones, can almost be considered a bonus.
No, it dont mean a thing if it aint got that swing - and Basie and his mates have plenty of it on this superb outing. Big-band jazz seldom enjoyed such levels of rhythmic precision, expert charts, or unfettered joy. Unbelievably, this gem has been out of print for years, with original copies both on vinyl and CD commanding steep prices. Mobile Fidelitys reissue restores not only the sonics but the records place in jazz history.
Production and Mastering by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab
Specially Plated and Pressed on 180 grams of High Definition Vinyl
Special Static Free - Dust Free Inner Sleeve
Heavy Duty Protective Packaging
Mastered from the Original Master Tapes
Pressed at RTI
Mastered by Krieg Wunderlich
Count Basie, piano
Eddie Lockjaw Davis, tenor saxophone
Eric Dixon, saxophone, flute
Sonny Payne, drums
Al Grey, trombone
LP 1 - Side 1:
3. I Cant Stop Loving You
4. I Needs to Be Beed With
5. Flight of the Foo Birds
LP 1 - Side 2:
1. Satin Doll
2. Makin Whoopee!
3. Corner Pocket
LP 2 - Side 3:
1. One OClock Jump
2. Go Away Little Girl
3. Whirly Bird
LP 2 - Side 4:
1. Blues for Ilene
2. This Could Be the Start of Something Big
3. Jumpin at the Woodside
Recorded January 26-29 & February 1, 1966 in the Copa Room, Sands Hotel, Las Vegas