These World War II Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS) One Night Stand broadcasts are a mixed bag.
On several instrumental numbers – “Beaver Junction”, “Avenue C”, “Red Bank Boogie”, “Paging Mr Green”, “Solo Flight” – the band (aided by the presence of Young, Edison, Newman and Tate) on some tracks deliver the expected goods. The ever-ebullient Jimmy Rushing provides spirited renditions of “Sit Right Down”, “Changes Made”, “I’m Gonna See My Baby”, but vocalists Thelma Carpenter (“I Dream of You”) and Maxine Johnson (“This Heart of Mine”) fail to arouse or even sustain interest.
Earl Warren’s insipid renditions of the title track and the equally dreadful “A Fellow on Furlough” suggest that he was far better confined to the reed section. Again, the Count’s minimalist piano interjections (apart from fleeting solos on “Avenue C” and “Let’s Jump”) are down to an even barer minimum.
It’s interesting but not essential “transitional” Basie fare, and the final track “Hey Rube!” lasts for less than half of its advertised playing time. A far better selection of the band’s mid-1940s performances can be found on the superior-sounding Hep anthology The Jubilee Alternatives, with judicious notes by Chris Sheridan.
(1) Introduction; I’m Gonna Sit Down and Write Myself a Letter; Time Alone Will Tell; Beaver Junction; I Dream of You; There’ll Be Some Changes Made; Let’s Jump; A Fellow on Furlough; I’m in Love With Someone; Avenue C; (2) Introduction; Red Bank Boogie; This Heart of Mine; I’m Gonna See My Baby; Paging Mr. Green; Sleigh Ride in July; (3 Swing Shift; Solo Flight; Wish You Were Waiting for Me; Together; Hey Rube! (61.02)
(1) Ed Lewis; Al Killian; Harry Edison; Joe Newman (t); Ted Donnelly; Eli Robinson; Dicky Wells; Louis Taylor (tb); Earl Warren (ts, v); Jimmy Powell (as); Lester Young; Buddy Tate (ts); Rudy Rutherford (bss, cl); Count Basie (p); Freddie Green (g); Rodney Richardson (b);: Jo Jones (d); Jimmy Rushing; Thelma Carpenter (v). AFRS One Night Stand 261, Hotel Lincoln, NYC, 15 May 1944.
(2) Lucky Thompson (ts); Shadow Wilson (d); Maxine Johnson (v) replace Lester Young, Jo Jones, Thelma Carpenter. AFRS One Night Stand 551, Hotel Lincoln, NYC, 25 February 1945.
(3) Same personnel. Hotel Lincoln, NYC, 2 February 1945.
Sounds of Yester Year DS0Y 21150