Count Basie – The Atomic Mr Basie (1957)

The Atomic Mr. Basie (originally called Basie, also known as E=MC2 and reissued in 1994 as The Complete Atomic Basie) is a 1958 album by Count Basie and his orchestra. The album is one of Basie’s most famous and is critically acclaimed. Allmusic gave it 5 stars, reviewer Bruce Eder saying “it took Basie’s core audience and a lot of other people by surprise, as a bold, forward-looking statement within the context of a big-band recording.” It is included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, Will Fulford-Jones calling it “Basie’s last great record.” It was voted number 411 in the third edition of Colin Larkin’s All Time Top 1000 Albums (2000). According to Acclaimed Music, it is the 6th most critically acclaimed album of 1958, the 25th most acclaimed of the 1950s, and the 837th most acclaimed of all time, based on an aggregation of hundreds of critics’ lists from around the world\

Track Listing

1. “Kid from Red Bank”
2. “Duet”
3. “After Supper”
4. “Flight of the Foo Birds”
5. “Double-O”
6. “Teddy the Toad”
7. “Whirlybird”
8. “Midnite Blue”
9. “Splanky”
10. “Fantail”
11. “Li’l Darlin'”

Review: Count Basie may be one of, if not the most important person in American musical history, that most people have never even heard of. If you go to Red Hook New Jersey, their main concert venue is the Count Basie Theater.

Most people who remember him only remember him for the albums and shows he did with Sinatra. But he was sort of like the modern day Quincy Jones. But the reality was, he was one of the best pianists, and organizers of all time. This album is exactly what you would expect jazz to be at the time. He was the first African American to win a Grammy Award. And this album won the Grammy for “Best Jazz Performance” at the 1959 Grammy Awards. Which it absolutely should have.

Schill Score: 8.5/10

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