Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Listen Or Die? #9 - The Atomic Mr. Basie...

Listen Or Die? Our (mostly) weekly examination of the albums listed in the book, 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Must you hear them? We'll be the judge of that...

by Count Basie (1957)
Running Time: 39:30

1. Kid from Red Bank
2. Duet
3. After Supper
4. Flight of the Foo Birds
5. Double-O
6. Teddy the Toad
7. Whirlybird
8. Midnite Blue
9. Splanky
10. Fantail
11. Lil' Darlin'

Welcome back to the 50s! Only nine albums in and I'd sell my soul to the devil himself to get to the 60s. You'll have to excuse me... it's the instrumental jazz albums. They're not made with little 'ole me in mind, groovers and shakers. I'm thinking The Atomic Mr. Basie won't be for many of you either, but there's sure to be some annoying jazz fan out there dying to tell me that my tiny brain can't understand the complexity of the emotion seeping through the toot-toot of the horns and scattered piano lines. 

Regarded as Count Basie's piece-dee-resistance (I never said I was French), The Atomic Mr Basie is sure to satisfy the needs of any true jazz fans. There's the right mix of upbeat numbers you'd expect to see in some terrible 50s black-and-white film. That's right... I don't like old cinema either! Audrey Hepburn movies suck! Sorry... sorry. This is what jazz does to me. Where was I... right mix of upbeat numbers with some very pleasing piano led ballad-y tracks. 'After Supper' in particular stands out, with the band capturing that romantic, after-dinner date mood. Get your minds out of the gutter though; there's not bow-chicka-wow-wow dirty sax going on here. I said sax, perv! 

'Midnite Blue' is quite nice, albeit a little similar in tone to 'After Supper.' You know those songs they play when moving sets around in musicals? That's closing track 'Lil Darlin.' So, um, yeah... it has that going for it? The other songs are alright. I guess. I don't know, they didn't do much for me. Let's stop delaying the inevitable (and put us both out of our misery), shall we? The Atomic Mr. Basie is an album you don't really need to hear before you DIE. See you next week for another trip to the 50s. Oy. 

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