COUNT BASIE AND HIS ORCHESTRA – 1939 Vol.2 | The Classics Chronological Series – 533 (1990) FLAC (tracks+.cue), lossless

The Count Basie Orchestra may not have been the number one band popularity-wise in 1939 (Glenn Miller and Artie Shaw were ahead of Basie), but it was certainly the most swinging ensemble. With Buck Clayton, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Dicky Wells, Lester Young, and Buddy Tate as major soloists, Jimmy Rushing and Helen Humes providing vocals, and the Basie rhythm section saying so much with so little, few bands were in Basie's league. This set has a variety of Columbia/Vocalion recordings from 1939, including the two-part "Miss Thing," "You Can Count on Me," "Song of the Islands," "I Left My Baby," and two numbers from a small-group date ("Dickie's Dream" and "Lester Leaps In"); there are plenty of gems to choose from, although one does regret the lack of any alternate takes, as is Classics' custom. Scott Yanow

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RED GARLAND — Red Alone (1960-2004) RM | Serie Original Jazz Classics | FLAC (tracks+.cue), lossless

Red Garland recorded 16 ballads during this single 1960 session for Prestige's Moodsville subsidiary. Although these selections were int...