The HBO documentary "Six by Sondheim," featuring interview with and music by Stephen Sondheim, debuts Monday. David Bianculli reviews it, and we feature our 2010 interview with Sondheim.
Count Basie Special
There is something about the way Count Basie could swing that is like nothing else. His band was a well oiled machine that knew the charts by heart and played with joy and precision. Bill Basie's dream as a kid was to play piano in the band, and he did so much more than that, creating a legacy of swing and big band style that is all his own. Hear the music of the Basie band over the years when Blaise Lantana celebrates Count Basie's birthday tonight at 8.
Basie hitched his star to some of the most famous vocalists of the 1950s and 1960s, which helped keep the Big Band sound alive and added greatly to his recording catalog. Jimmy Rushing sang with Basie in the late 1930s. Joe Williams toured with the band and was featured on the 1957 album One O'Clock Jump, and 1956's Count Basie Swings, Joe Williams Sings, with "Every Day (I Have the Blues)" becoming a huge hit. With Billy Eckstine on the album Basie-Eckstine Inc., in 1959. Ella Fitzgerald made some memorable recordings with Basie, including the 1963 album Ella and Basie!. With the 'New Testament' Basie band in full swing.