993: Count Basie And His Orchestra – The Atomic Mr. Basie (1957)

This is the happiest jazz album ever. To think that Count Basie had been putting out music for over two decades at this point is a testament off the bat. Count Basie himself plays piano, and he is never over bearing or trying to steal the limelight. Every song has some extraordinary element. Usually the horns, or more specifically the saxophone but also the drums. The drummer can really keep the beat alive while adding in all these fantastic flourishing fills. If someone asked me for some real upbeat jazz, this would be it. It’s too danceable and exciting for a cocktail hour. If I went to see this album performed live and was asked to sit I’d start a riot.

Bottom Line: This lives up to its name and is atomic. Everyone should hear this one at least once.

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