The second edition of Lori Mechem’s tribute to the Count Basie Orchestra and follow up to Shiny Stockings.
Mechem is in particular a real eye opener. She is not only an impressive soloist, but a vigilant and perceptive accompanist.
All About Jazz
“April In Paris” comes out swingin’ with Freddie Green’s “Corner Pocket” and ends with Basie’s “Jumpin’ at the Woodside”. You don’t have to go Europe to enjoy April In Paris, you can enjoy it right here, right now in full swing on the latest release by The Lori Mechem Quartet.
Creator XM Satellite Radio’s
Real Jazz XM 70
More irresistable, bowl-you-over Basie. Lori and the guys score big again with “April In Paris…”
Written by Mark Edwards
When William “Count” Basie passed away in April of 1984 it felt like a particular kind of swing was gone forever. In 70 years of practically constant performing Basie’s band developed an almost supernatural feel for the relentless, swinging music that is at the heart of jazz. Even the various Basie “ghost bands” couldn’t duplicate the feeling of a performance when the Count was at the helm.
Fortunately, really excellent jazz musicians respect and love tradition in music above all else. So the swing that Basie perpetuated wasn’t actually dead at all. It was merely dormant. And it was awakened in a huge way in 2003 with the release of the Lori Mechem Quartet’s first recording, “Shiny Stockings”. Now, six years later, Lori and her compatriots are revisiting the Basie Songbook. They have perfected their homage to the Basie band. And it is glorious! There are moments on this new recording when if you close your eyes and allow yourself to really get lost in the music you will swear that Basie and his men are back for the inevitable “one more time.”
From the sublime beauty of Thad Jones’ composition, “To You” to the emotion drenched rendering of “Blue and Sentimental” by modern day tenor titan Pete Christlieb and ending with a raucously swinging version of “Jumpin’At the Woodside” this is music that conveys the entire spectrum of emotions. Just like the Basie band at their best.
I feel sure that this is a disc that would make Count smile. I really miss that smile, don’t you?