Super Hot Stamper sound on both sides of this killer piano trio recording. It’s a joy to hear Basie perform as a frontman, stretching out on tunes that were no doubt dear to him. Veterans of hundreds of sessions, Ray Brown and Louis Bellson are just as interesting as Basie, high praise. Recorded by the legendary engineer Ed Greene (Stan Getz/Charlie Byrd – Jazz Samba) – that accounts for the exceptional sound.
Naturally we pick up all the Pablo Basie titles we can get our hands on these days, having had very good luck with a great many of them. When we dropped the needle on a copy of this one a few years back we were amazed at the sound. My post-it, still on the record, reads “SUPERB DEMO DISC.” It certainly is.
This album was part of a series of smaller ensemble recordings under the heading of Kansas City that Pablo undertook with Basie later in his career. Basie had recorded a piano trio record with the same gents the year before “For the First Time” and must have enjoyed himself enough to give it another go.
The best copies are big and rich, and present you with a solid, weight, clear piano like few piano trio recordings you have ever heard.
Steer clear of the OJC on this title; it’s thin and opaque, the opposite of the sound you want.