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Good Morning Blues Basie

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  46 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
One of the great jazz memoirs. Count Basie (1904-1984), pianist, composer, and icon of big-band jazz, known for such classics as "Jumpin' at the Woodside," "Cherokee," and "One O'Clock Jump," recounts his life story to Albert Murray with all the charm and dry humor of two friends sitting at the kitchen table. Good Morning Blues is both testimony and tribute to a remarkable ...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published July 1st 1986 by William Heinemann Ltd (first published 1986)
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Rick
Oct 19, 2013 Rick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
One of the great big jazz band leaders, Count Basie told his story to Albert Murray just prior to Basie’s death, from his childhood and youth in Red Bank, New Jersey, to his world citizen fame as a jazz ambassador and endlessly touring performer in the early 1980s. Murray manages to transcribe Basie’s voice to the page so it swings surprisingly well, making an engaging chronicle despite a particularly reticent storyteller.

Basie won’t brag, he won’t explain, he won’t gossip, he won’t take credit,
...more
Spiros
Sep 09, 2013 Spiros rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those with an appreciation for Jazz Royalty
Shelves: bins
"We stopped off there and went into a bar where you could get sandwiches and cigarettes and candy and things like that, and they had a good piano in there. That's the part I will never forget, because I made the mistake of sitting down at that piano, and that's when I got my introduction to a keyboard monster by the name of Art Tatum. That's how I met him. I remember that part only too well.
I don't know why I sat down at that piano. We were all in there to get a little taste and little snack, an
...more
Josh
Mar 23, 2014 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent history and tangential mention of all kinds of interesting facts & relationships. (Unfortunately, it reads a bit too much like a stereotypical history book.)

Two follow-ups I now want to watch/read:

_Hot Jazz: A Guide to Swing Music by Hugues-Panassié (for describing a pop trend while it was trendy, rather than the vintage style it is today)

"The Last of the Blue Devils" produced by Bruce Ricker (for the other side of the story)
Rita
So very glad I came across this book.

It happened this way: By chance a couple years ago I saw an obituary of Albert Murray, I think it was online, and I wondered how on earth I had failed to never have heard of this American black author before. The only thing of his I could find to read online was an excerpt from a book of his correspondence with another [well-known] black author and those few pages were so very interesting.

I therefore set about looking for what Albert Murray had written, and f
...more
GK Stritch
Oct 31, 2014 GK Stritch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A delight listening to Bill tell his story, I especially enjoyed the Red Bank days and his sentiments regarding his mother. It mustn't have been easy in those early years, but Count sheds a gracious light on events with gentleness, style, and humor--five stars for content, but in need of a good copyeditor's magic, nothing major, just delete some of the repetition--some very funny stuff here coming straight from Count back in the glory days of Fats Waller, Billie Holiday, Lester Young, everybody, ...more
Alex
Mar 04, 2010 Alex rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Not for anyone but the most die-hard Basie fans; and even for them (me) it's quite a long slog. There's plenty about the band's schedules of one-nighters, the numerous personnel changes, and recording sessions; the truly memorable anecdotes are scattered in between. Still, it was worth getting through; Basie's voice comes through loud and clear, and many stories are laugh-out-loud hilarious. Don't look for scandal; Basie has nothing bad to say about anyone, and an abundance of praise for both hi ...more
Hagar
Apr 09, 2013 Hagar marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french, music
Le plus gros des pavés que j'ai dans ma bibliothèque personnelle, d'habitude les gros livres ne me découragent pas plus que ça...sauf peut-être celui-là. Il est bientôt temps que je le dépoussière en tout cas, ça doit faire une dizaine d'années qu'il traîne dans mes étagères et pourtant je sais que Count Basie a plein d'anecdotes inédites à faire partager. ça sera aussi l'occasion pour moi de redécouvrir le ragtime et toute cette bonne vieille musique qui a marqué cette époque.
Jeff Little
Mar 21, 2013 Jeff Little rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Not recommended. I'm glad I finished it but it was a pretty long read. Usually I love reading biographies, especially those written about musicians, but this one wasn't very well ordered or compelling.
Morris Nelms
Apr 20, 2013 Morris Nelms rated it it was amazing
I love Basie, so I loved this. He rambles a bit, but it's like having a long visit with him.
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