Next to Duke Ellington, Count Basie is one of the most recognizable names in big band jazz. One O’Clock Jump, a festival tribute to the late Count Basie, with pivotal members from throughout the Count Basie Orchestra’s history as well as a few of Ellington’s sidemen, is scheduled Thursday through Sunday, October 5th to 8th, at the Four Points Sheraton LAX Hotel, 9750 Airport Blvd., Westchester. Tickets are available for each individual concert and event and range from $20 to $35. A four-day festival pass is $350.
“2006 marks the 70th anniversary of the Count Basie Orchestra’s exodus out of the Reno Club in Kansas City and the beginning of their journey into international stardom,” says Ken Poston of the Los Angeles Jazz Institute, the group that organized the festival.
Aside from the concerts, the festival will feature film screenings, panel discussions and lectures on Count Basie history.
Featured ensembles at the festival include the Frank Capp Juggernaut on Thursday, October 5th; Frank Foster’s Loud Minority Big Band, The Frank Wess Quartet and The Clark Terry Quartet on Friday, October 6th; Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, The Clark Terry Big Band and The Johnny Mandel Big Band on Saturday, October 7th; and Snooky Young with The Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra, Shorty Rogers Courts the Count, and The Joe Wilder Quartet on Sunday, October 8th.
The Count Basie Orchestra, formed in 1936, has continued since Basie’s death in 1984, but will not be performing at the One O’Clock Jump tribute.
The co-headliner of the One O’Clock Jump festival is the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, a group that first started as the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra in 1966. Thad Jones was a trumpeter and soloist for the Count Basie Orchestra from 1954 to 1963 and also wrote part of the group’s repertoire. Jones directed the Count Basie Orchestra in 1985 and 1986, following Basie’s death.
Frank Foster’s Loud Minority Big Band features a well-known saxophonist from Basie’s New Testament era. Frank Foster played with the Count Basie Orchestra from 1953 to 1964 and was a key writer and soloist. He also returned to the Count Basie Orchestra after Basie’s death, leading the famed ensemble from 1986 to 1995.
Fellow Basie tenor saxophonist Frank Wess, who performed with Basie from 1953 to 1964 and forged a legendary saxophone partnership with Foster, will perform with The Frank Wess Quartet. Aside from his acclaim as a saxophone soloist, he is also known as a pioneer of the jazz flute.
Clark Terry is better known as a member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, but with a 60-year jazz career, Terry has gotten around town. The legendary trumpeter performed with Count Basie’s big band and Basie’s short-lived small group in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Terry usually performs in smaller ensembles and his own big band rarely performs publicly. The One O’Clock Jump Festival is the Clark Terry Big Band’s first performance on the West Coast, according to the LA Jazz Institute.
The Los Angeles Jazz Institute is a nonprofit organization operating out of California State University Long Beach that archives both contemporary jazz and jazz from its great periods throughout the 20th century.
Information, (562) 985-7065.