Classic Jazz Archive compilation album by Count Basie, was released in 2004 on the Classic Jazz Archive label. This a 1990 reissue of prime Basie cuts.
''Farmers Market Barbecue'' represents the later period in Count Basie's career. Basie always maintained a firm grasp on his music; his concept never wavered or faltered when it came to good, down-home swing. Basie's music always contained elements of group interplay. In his later years, his music was much more highly arranged; however, an impromptu approach to jazz still pervaded his work. If spontaneity was the mark of the Kansas City days, lightheartedness permeated his later efforts. This is most clearly displayed on tracks such as "Lester Leaps In" and "Jumpin' at the Woodside." On the latter, the Count and his orchestra sustain a light and buoyant swing while still infusing the music with lively improvisations. Tenor saxophonists Kenny Hing and Eric Dixon trade choruses on these jazz anthems in a blithe and playful manner. Always able to breathe new life into classic repertoire, with ''Farmers Market Barbecue'' Basie proves that big band music is not just the sum total of the golden years of the late '30s and early '40s.
Count Basie was among the most important bandleaders of the swing era. With the exception of a brief period in the early '50s, he led a big band from 1935 until his death almost 50 years later, and the band continued to perform after he died…
Lester Young was one of the true jazz giants, a tenor saxophonist who came up with a completely different conception in which to play his horn, floating over bar lines with a light tone rather than adopting Coleman Hawkins' then-dominant forceful approach. A non-conformist, Young (nicknamed "Pres" by Billie Holiday) had the ironic experience in the 1950s of hearing many young tenors try to sound exactly like him.
"A Classy Pair" is a most apt title for this session, which features Ella Fitzgerald and the final incarnation of the Count Basie Orchestra, perhaps the last major big band to exist under the baton of its namesake. Recorded in February 1979 and produced by the legendary Norman Granz, these nine tracks show Fitzgerald in a somewhat better light than the orchestra.