Count Basie Instruments

Coming SOON!

Count Basie

Hi… My name is Rheuben and I am working with the William “Count” Basie Estate to bring a new line of Count Basie Band Instruments to young musicians.

These instruments are great quality and will bring many years of playing pleasure to any young student.  I have helped design these instruments and hand-picked the factories.

All profits from the sale of Count Basie band instruments are donated to charity and to help the Rheuben Allen Education Foundation to provide these great instruments to deserving children.

What better way to help young deserving children and what a great name to have on an instrument for a young musician than Count Basie, a true jazz legend who was an inspiration to so many thousands of people we hope to keep the legend going by bringing the Count Basie name, music and story to young people today.

Count Basie Young Artist Series Instruments are available, they play great and look great!

Count Basie Young Artist Series
*CBTptL-101 Count Basie Young Artist Series Trumpet
*CBCLS-101 Count Basie Young Artist Series B-Flat ABS Clarinets  These clarinets play great and have silver plated keys.
*CBFL-101 C Flutes available in three models: This student flute with low C foot joint, silver plated with French Style key designs.
*CBFL-102 Count Basie Young Artist Series Flute with low C foot joint, silver plated with both a straight and curved head joints for smaller children.
*CBFL-103 Count Basie Young Artist Series Intermediate Flute silver plated, closed hole with low B food joint.
*CBAS4LN Count Basie Young Artist Series E-Flat Alto Saxophone Lacquered Body and Neck with Nickel Plated keys for strength.
*CBTSLN-101 Count Basie Young Artist Series B-Flat Tenor Saxophones:  Lacquered Body and Neck with Nickel Plated keys for strength.

*The Count Basie name, likeness, photos and logo are used by permission through an agreement with the William “Count” Basie Estate.

Count Basie Biography

Jazz icon, Count Basie, was born William James Basie August 21, 1904 in Red Bank, New Jersey. Count Basie is considered one of the greatest bandleaders of all times. He was the arbiter of the big-band swing sound and his unique style of fusing blues and jazz established swing as a predominant music style. Basie changed the jazz landscape and shaped mid-20th century popular music, duly earning the title “King of Swing” because he made the world want to dance.

The Man

Both of Basie’s parents were hard workers. His father, Harvey Lee Basie, was a coachman and a groundskeeper, and his mother, Lillian Childs Basie, was a laundress.   As a young boy, Basie hated to see his parents working so hard, and vowed to help them get ahead. The family had a piano, and Basie’s mother paid 25¢ a lesson for his piano lessons at an early age.  He had an incredible ear, and could repeat any tune he heard. Dropping out of junior high school, Basie learned to operate lights for vaudeville and to improvise piano accompaniment for silent films at the local movie theater in his hometown that would eventually become the Count Basie Theatre. He quickly made a name for himself playing the piano at local venues and parties around town until he moved to New York City in search of greater opportunities.

His Family

After a decade long courtship, Basie married dancer Catherine Morgan, his second wife, on his birthday in 1942. They had one daughter, Diane, in 1944. Count and Mrs. Basie were true socialites – often gathering with friends including celebrities Frank Sinatra, Jerry Lewis, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Basie protégé Quincy Jones. They had direct lines to presidents, occasionally exchanging personal telegrams giving well wishes. In 1949, the Basie family moved one of the premier neighborhoods open to African American families – Addsleigh Park in St. Albans, Queens, New York. Their neighbors included Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, Jackie Robinson and Milt Hinton. While Count Basie worked over 300 nights a year, Mrs. Basie was very active in charitable and civil rights organizations, and was recognized for her work by the major leaders of the day. In the early 1970s, the Basies moved to the warmer climate of Freeport, Bahamas.

His Music
Around 1924 Basie moved to Harlem, a hotbed for jazz, where his career started to quickly take off.  Shortly after he got there, he got a gig replacing Fats Waller with a touring vaudeville act. When he came back to Harlem, Fats Waller showed him how to play the organ, and Willie “the Lion” Smith took him under his wing. He went out on tour with on the vaudeville and TOBA circuits again until his performance group disbanded in the mid-1920s, leaving him stuck in Kansas City. It was here that he was introduced to the big-band sound when he joined Walter Page’s Blue Devils in 1928. Basie now called Kansas City home.

Basie heard Bennie Moten’s band, and longed to play with them. But Moten was an expert piano player himself, and Basie fashioned a job for himself as the band’s staff arranger. He couldn’t write music at the time, but his ear was perfect. Eventually, Moten generously let Basie sit in on piano.

A year later, Basie joined Bennie_Moten’s band, and played with them until Moten’s death in 1935. Basie then formed his own nine-piece band, Barons of Rhythm, with many former Moten members including Walter Page (bass), Freddie Green (guitar), Jo Jones (drums), Lester Young (tenor saxophone) and Jimmy Rushing (vocals).

The Barons of Rhythm were regulars at the Reno Club and often performed for a live radio broadcast. During a broadcast the announcer wanted to give Basie’s name some style, so he called him “Count.” Little did Basie know this touch of royalty would give him proper status and position him with the likes of Duke Ellington and Earl Hines.

Famed record producer and journalist, John Hammond, heard the band’s broadcast and began writing about the Orchestra to gain their attention. He then traveled from New York to Kansas City just to hear the band and to meet Count Basie. He soon started booking the band and shopping them to agents and record companies – forging their big break. In 1937 Basie took his group, Count Basie and His Barons of Rhythm, to New York to record their first album with Decca Records under their new name, The Count Basie Orchestra.
The Count Basie Orchestra had a slew of hits that helped to define the big-band sound of the 1930s and ’40s. Some of their notable chart toppers included Jumpin’ at the Woodside, April in Paris, and Basie’s own composition, One O’Clock Jump, which became the orchestra’s signature piece.

Basie and his Orchestra appeared in five films, all released within a matter of months in 1943: Hit Parade, Reveille with Beverly, Stage Door Canteen, Top Man, andCrazy House. He also scored a series of Top Ten hits on the pop and R&B charts, including I Didn’t Know About You, Red Bank Blues, Rusty Dusty Blues, Jimmy’s Blues, and Blue Skies. 

In 1950, financial restraints forced Basie to disband the orchestra. For the next two years he led small bands between six and nine pieces. Basie reorganized the Orchestra in 1952 and this new band was in high demand and toured extensively around the world. (This became known as the “New Testament Band”, while the first Orchestra was the “Old Testament Band.”) They played command performances for kings, queens and presidents, and issued a large number of recordings both under Basie’s name and as the backing band for various singers, most notably Frank Sinatra.

Some argue Basie made some of his best work during the 1960s and ’70s Shiny Stocking, L’il Darlin, Corner Pocket, and even a hit single, Everyday I Have the Blues, with Joe Williams. During this period he also recorded with music greats, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Jackie Wilson, Dizzy Gillespie and Oscar Peterson.

Basie was a true innovator leading the band for almost 50 years and recording on over 480 albums. He is credited for creating the use of the two “split” tenor saxophone, emphasizing the rhythm section, riffing with a big band, using arrangers to broaden their sound, and beautifully layering masterful vocalists. Basie was often recognized for his understated yet captivating style of piano playing and his precise, impeccable musical leadership.

Basie earned nine Grammy Awardsand made history in 1958 by becoming the first African-American to receive the award. He has had an unprecedented four recordings inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame – One O’Clock Jump (1979), April in Paris (1985), Everyday I Have the Blues (1992), and Lester Leaps In (2005), along with a slew of other awards and honors not only for his music, but for his humanitarianism and philanthropy around the world.

Basie died April 26, 1984 in Hollywood, FL but his legacy is still swinging strong.
Count Basie Discography The Count recorded so much great music it is hard to know where to start so we will start at the beginning.

1937–1939, Brunswick
• The Complete Decca Recordings (1937–1939, Decca Records)

1939–1950, Columbia and RCA
• Super Chief (1936–1942, Columbia Records)
• Count Basie and His Great Vocalists (1939–1945, Columbia)
• America’s No. 1 Band: The Columbia Years (1936–1964, Columbia)
• Complete Original American Victor Recordings (1941–1950, RCA Records sessions, reissued on Definitive)
• Kansas City Powerhouse (1929–1932, 1947–1949, RCA/Bluebird Records)
• Planet Jazz (ca. 1929-1932, 1947–1949, RCA/BMG International Records)

The 1950s
• The Count (1952, Clef)
• Basie Rides Again! (1952, Clef)
• Dance Session (1952–1954, Clef)
• King of Swing (1953–1954, Clef)
• The Band of Distinction (1954, Clef)
• Basie (1955, Clef)
• Count Basie Swings, Joe Williams Sings (with Joe Williams) (1955, Clef)
• April in Paris (1955–1956, Verve)
• Hall of Fame (1956, Verve)
• The Greatest!! Count Basie Plays, Joe Williams Sings Standards (with Joe Williams) (1956, Verve)
• Basie in London (Live, 1956, Verve)
• One O’Clock Jump (with Joe Williams and Ella Fitzgerald) (1957, Verve)
• Count Basie at Newport (Live, 1957, Verve)
• The Atomic Mr. Basie (1958, Roulette)
• Basie Plays Hefti (1958, Roulette)
• No Count Sarah (with Sarah Vaughan) (1958, EmArcy)
• Chairman of the Board (1958, Roulette)
• Sing Along with Basie (with Joe Williams and Lambert, Hendricks & Ross) (1958, Roulette)
• Breakfast Dance and Barbeque (1958, Roulette)
• Not Now, I’ll Tell You When (1958, Roulette)
• Welcome to the Club (with Nat King Cole) (1959, Capitol)
• One More Time (1959, Roulette)
• Basie and Eckstine, Inc. (with Billy Eckstine) (1959, Roulette)
• Strike Up the Band (with Tony Bennett) (1959, Roulette)
• In Person! (with Tony Bennett) (1959, Columbia)
• Everyday I Have the Blues (with Joe Williams) (1959, Roulette)
• Dance Along with Basie (1959, Roulette)
• Count Basie And His Orchestra Play Music From The Pen Of Quincy Jones (1959, Roulette)
• Hall Of Fame (1959, Verve)

The 1960s-pre Pablo
• I Gotta Right to Swing (with Sammy Davis, Jr.) (1960, Decca Records)
• Just the Blues (with Joe Williams) (1960, Roulette)
• The Count Basie Story (1960, Roulette)
• Not Now,I’ll Tell You When (1960, Roulette)
• First Time! The Count Meets the Duke (with Duke Ellington) (1961, Columbia)
• The Legend (1961, Roulette)
• Kansas City Suite – The Music of Benny Carter (1961, Roulette)
• Basie at Birdland (live) (1961, Roulette)
• Count Basie/Sarah Vaughan (with Sarah Vaughan) (1961, Roulette)
• Back with Basie (1962, Roulette)
• Easin’ it (1962, Roulette)
• Basie in Sweden (1962, Roulette)
• I Left My Heart in San Francisco (with Tony Bennett) (1962, Columbia)
• Sinatra-Basie: An Historic Musical First (with Frank Sinatra) (1962, Reprise)
• On My Way and Shoutin’ Again! (1963, Verve)
• More Hits of 1950s and 1960s (1963, Verve)
• Li’l Ol’ Groovemaker…Basie! (1963, Verve)
• This Time by Basie: Hits of the 1950s and 1960s (1963, Verve)
• Ella and Basie! (with Ella Fitzgerald) (1963, Verve)
• Basie Land (1964, Verve)
• Pop Goes the Basie (1964, Reprise)
• It Might as Well Be Swing (with Frank Sinatra) (1964, Reprise)
• Basie Picks the Winners (1965, Verve)
• Our Shining Hour (with Sammy Davis, Jr.) (1965, Verve)
• Arthur Prysock and Count Basie (with Arthur Prysock) (1965, Verve)
• Basie’s Beatle Bag (1965, Verve)
• Basie Meets Bond (1966, Capitol)
• Sinatra at the Sands (live, with Frank Sinatra) (1966, Reprise)
• Basie’s Beat (1967, Verve)
• Broadway Basie’s…Way (1967, Command)
• Hollywood…Basie’s Way (1967, Command)
• Basie’s in the Bag (1967, Brunswick)
• The Happiest Millionaire (1967, )
• Half a Sixpence (1967, Dot)
• Manufacturers of Soul (with Jackie Wilson) (1968, Brunswick)
• The Board of Directors (with The Mills Brothers) (1968, Dot)
• The Board of Directors Annual Report (with The Mills Brothers) (1968, Dot)
• Evergreens (1969, Groove Merchant)
• Basic Basie (1969, MPS)
• Basie Straight Ahead (1969, Dot)
• Standing Ovation (1969, Dot)
• High Voltage (1970, MPS)
• How About This (with Kay Starr) (1970, MCA)
• Basie on the Beatles (1970, Happy Tiger)
• Afrique (1970, RCA Victor)
• The Legend – From the Pen of Benny Carter (1970, Roulette)
• Have a Nice Day (1971, Daybreak)
• Bing ‘n’ Basie (with Bing Crosby) (Daybreak, 1972)

The Pablo Years
• Flip,Flop & Fly (live,with Joe Turner) (1972)
• Jazz at Santa Monica Civic ’72 (live) (1972)
• The Songs of Bessie Smith (with Teresa Brewer) (1973, Doctor Jazz)
• Basie Big Band (1975)
• Fun Time (1975)
• I Told You So (1976)
• Prime Time (1977)
• Montreux ’77 (live) (1977)
• Milt Jackson + Count Basie + The Big Band Vol.1 (live) (1978)
• Milt Jackson + Count Basie + The Big Band Vol.2 (live) (1978)
• Live in Japan ’78 (live) (1978)
• On the Road (1979)
• Digital III at Montreux (live) (1979)
• A Classy Pair (with Ella Fitzgerald) (1979)
• A Perfect Match (live, with Ella Fitzgerald) (1979)
• Kansas City Shout (1980)
• Warm Breeze (1981)
• Send in the Clowns (with Sarah Vaughan) (1981)
• Farmer’s Market Barbecue (1982)
• 88 Basie Street (1983)
• Me and You (1983)
• Fancy Pants (final album with Count Basie) (1983)

Post Count Basie Albums
• Long Live the Chief (1987, Denon)
• Diane Schuur & the Count Basie Orchestra (live, with Diane Schuur) (1987, GRP)
• The Legend, the Legacy (1990, Denon)
• Big Boss Band (with George Benson) (1990, Warner Bros.)
• Freddie Freeloader (with Jon Hendricks) (1990, Denon)
• The Count Basie Orchestra Live at El Morocco (live) (1992, Telarc)
• Joe Williams and the Count Basie Orchestra (with Joe Williams) (1993, Telarc)
• Basie’s Bag (live) (1994, Telarc)
• Jazzin’ (with Tito Puente & India) (1996, RMM)
• Live at Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild: The Count Basie Orchestra (live) (1997, Blue Jackel)
• At Long Last (with Rosemary Clooney) (1998, Concord)
• Count Plays Duke (1998, MAMA)
• Swing Shift (1999, MAMA)
• Ray Sings, Basie Swings (with Ray Charles) (2006, Concord)
• Basie is Back (2007, Village Music)
• A Swingin’ Christmas (Featuring The Count Basie Big Band) (with Tony Bennett) (2008, Columbia)
• Swinging,Singing,Playing (2009, Mack Avenue)