A big-band date that slightly predated pianist Gene Harris'
association with the Philip Morris Superband
, this CD is ostensibly a tribute to the recently deceased Count Basie
, but surprisingly, only two of the eight songs ("Swingin' the Blues" and "Blue and Sentimental") were played by Basie
, although one original ("Captain Bill") was written in homage of the bandleader. Harris'
16-piece orchestra does bring back the spirit of Basie's
band in spots, with a lightly but steadily swinging rhythm section and such soloists as trumpeters Conte Candoli
and Jon Faddis
and tenors Plas Johnson
and Bob Cooper
. But in reality, Harris
dominates the solo spotlight, and the music (which includes a memorable version of "When Did You Leave Heaven") is a bit predictable.