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June 2023
1min read

Count Basie (at the piano) once gave a writer his recipe for swinging—something his orchestra managed to do better than any other for almost five decades: “I think a band can really swing when it swings easy , when it just can play along like you are cutting butter.” Sabat includes here five of the men who helped him make it at least look easy: bassist Walter Page and guitarist Freddie Green, who, with Basic himself and the drummer Jo Jones (not shown), formed the all-important rhythm section; lead trumpeter Buck Clayton; and two great tenor saxophonists, Herschel Evans (left) and Lester Young, the former’s big swaggering sound contrasted with the artfully tentative solos of the latter.

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