Live From Birdland with Count Basie – 1956

Steve Allen

A rare chance to see Count Basie and his big band performing at the original Birdland

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Of all of the talk show hosts, Steve Allen was always the most interested in featuring jazz on his programs.

On July 22, 1956, he visited Birdland on his Sunday night television show.

Allen says hello to Pee Wee Marquette, chats briefly with Count Basie, and happily enjoys hearing the Basie Orchestra playing “April In Paris,” an uptempo blues, and a brief “One O’Clock Jump.”

Trumpeter Joe Newman and drummer Sonny Payne are prominent, Marshall Royal leads the sax section, and Count Basie smiles at his classic band.

-Scott Yanow


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