Saturday, June 20, 2020

Count Basie '62

Thanks to great saxophonist Steve Kaldestad for hipping me to this. The Count Basie band killing it!

I made a few notes, especially since I don't know Basie or Sonny Payne's work nearly as well as I should….

Totally swinging at all times.
No matter what happens, everything Mr. Payne plays feels so amazing!
HUGE dynamic range
Payne gets so much drama out of the drums!
Four on the Hi-Hat all the way through ballad version of “Stella By Starlight” ( and all the other ballads) 
Just like Donald Bailey. he was doing this way before Tony Williams made it a "thing".
Hi-hat cymbals VERY open for big dynamic range w/foot
He really controls that band with his left foot!
Often playing same things in both bands or 4 on the snare during swing
This results in a lot of clarity. I often feel I'm comping too much in a big band setting.
Playing articulations w/horns always at the perfect volume
He really is a master at playing ensemble hits with the horns.
 Showy but never at the expense of the music
If you heard this performance on a record, it would be just as fantastic. The visuals just add to it!
Switches cymbals for different soloists
It's interesting how he manages to do everything he needs to do, yet retains a small group feel and looseness, another thing i have struggled with in big band playing.
He has all the music memorized
This is huge! He's listening rather than reading!
Lots of closed hi-hat for quiet sections
I think this is something players avoid nowadays because they feel it isn't "hip! IT IS HIP!

Okay, everyone listen to tons of Basie. Only good can come from it! :)

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