Good Morning Blues: The Autobiography of Count Basie

Count Basie, Author Random House (NY) $19.95 (399p) ISBN 978-0-394-54864-7
Long before he thought about becoming a musician, William Basie, son of a Red Bank, N.J., coachman and caretaker, longed to ""go on the road touring everywhere in the world of show business with a troupe.'' In these long, rambling memoirs, skillfully put together from tape recordings, the Count recollects his experiences as a traveling pianist in Missouri and Oklahoma, as a member (with Hot Lips Page and Jimmie Rushing) of the Blue Devils, as organist in a silent-movie house, with Bennie Moten's orchestra in Kansas City, and as leader of one of the greatest jazz bands of all time. Basie pays tribute to his colleagues and managers (and to John Hammond for ``discovering'' him), but does not hesitate to discuss their weaknesses and shortcomings; his language is direct and earthy. Although some of the book reads more like a catalogue or itinerary than an autobiography, it will have strong appeal for jazz buffs and fans of the late bandleader. Photos not seen by PW. January 1
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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