The Rules of Basie

Count-Basie 02The Count Basie rhythm section from the latter part of the 1930’s provided jazz with the modern rhythm section. The roots of this style go back to the Benny Moten Orchestra and Walter Page’s Blue Devils. Basie, together with drummer Joe Jones, bassist Walter Page, and guitarist Eddie Durham (later Freddie Green) helped bring about this monumental change. Modern jazz could not have evolved had it not been for Basie rhythm section. This rhythm section played in a light, yet propulsive manner that left ample space for the improvisers. Count Basie played in an abbreviated manner, unlike in the stride piano style. This allowed the bassist to maintain the pulse and become the primary timekeeper. Jo Jones’ use of the cymbals further lightened the sound and texture. Together with the rhythm guitar Basie’s rhythm section sounded as if was floating compared to many of his contemporaries.
CompositionArtistYear
1:00 JumpCount Basie Orchestra1937
Mule Walk StompJames P. Johnsonca. 1938
Lester Leaps InLester Young1939
Taxi War DanceCount Basie Orchestra1939
Doggin’ AroundCount Basie Orchestra1938