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Stuart McLean-Fowler hit it out of the part with this lead trumpet transcription series, and focusing in on “Snooky” Young in his first instalment was a spot-on choice. His lead trumpet sound is one that we should all try to emulate, and having the chance to blare this complete album while playing along with one of the best lead players of all time is an opportunity I am very happy to share with you.
Although it appeared at a time when Count Basie was enjoying respect from all quarters, Chairman of the Board was, comparatively, a low-profile session. The record was surrounded in Basie’s discography by several prize-winners and a parade of studio collaborations. This 1958 date for Roulette was a rare chance for the orchestra to perform on its own, and listeners to hear how powerful the band could be when its concentration was undiverted. Of course, Basie’s band already possessed three fine arrangers and at least a dozen solo voices. Each of the songs on Chairman of the Board were originals by Foster, Jones, Wess, or Ernie Wilkins, all of them arranged by the composer. The record is admittedly heavy on the blues, but it’s a brassy, powerful vision of the blues. A dynamic date, it shows the “new testament” edition of Basie’s orchestra in top form.
Click to the left for samples, then grab an immediate PDF download above.