08/11/2014 8:09 pm  #1


REVIEW OF 'BING 'N' BASIE'

Dear all,

I've been listening to Bing 'n' Basie quite a bit lately, and so I've decided to write and publish a review of that album in my blog Bing Crosby on CD. If you're interested, you can read it here:

http://bingcrosbyoncd.blogspot.com/2014/11/bing-n-basie-daybreak-records-1972.html

Thanks, and I hope everyone's having a great weekend! http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png

 

08/11/2014 9:46 pm  #2


Re: REVIEW OF 'BING 'N' BASIE'

An interesting review Anton.

Apart from the fact that some of the material was not best fitted to the artists, it is my personal belief that there could have been considerable improvement if the participants had been together in the studio.

You say "there doesn't appear to be a real connection between band and vocalist". Not surprising as they were separated by both time and space. Bing liked being with his musical support. 

The band recorded in Hollywood at the end of February/early March 1972, Bing overdubbed his contribution a couple of weeks later, in San Francisco.

But as you imply much is redeemed by three, possibly four, tracks but particularly "Hangin' Loose".

And I agree that the exclusion from the issued album of "If I Had A Hammer" is inexplicable. It is certainly better, in my view, than some of the tracks actually included.


 

 

09/11/2014 12:20 am  #3


Re: REVIEW OF 'BING 'N' BASIE'

Richard,

Thanks for your kind words about my review of Bing 'n' Basie. I also appreciate your comments about the possible reason why there doesn't seem to be much of a connection between Bing and the Basie band. Not much has been written about this LP—at least not in the books I have http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png
— and so I actually wasn't aware of the fact that Bing and Basie hadn't been together in the studio when the album was recorded. Therefore, I've added the following sentence to the review to reflect that fact:

"This lack of connection between Bing and the band, though, isn't surprising in the light of the fact that Crosby overdubbed his vocals onto tracks that the Basie orchestra had recorded previously, a practice that was never favored by the singer."

Thanks again!

Last edited by Anton G.-F. (09/11/2014 12:22 am)

     Thread Starter
 

11/11/2014 11:40 pm  #4


Re: REVIEW OF 'BING 'N' BASIE'

I listen tio this LP often. I like it. Fine review!


All the best,
Paul M. Mock
 

13/11/2014 10:28 pm  #5


Re: REVIEW OF 'BING 'N' BASIE'

Thanks, Paul! I am glad you enjoyed the review. I also like Bing 'n' Basie; it's just one of those cases where I wish they'd done a different kind of collaboration, but I still like the album as it is and play it quite often.

     Thread Starter
 

26/11/2014 6:09 am  #6


Re: REVIEW OF 'BING 'N' BASIE'

That's an interesting review Anton but as I've not heard these recordings I'm unable to agree or disagree. I do have the Sinatra-Basie LP and believe it's definitely not one of Frank's best.

 

03/3/2020 4:28 am  #7


Re: REVIEW OF 'BING 'N' BASIE'

I have never liked Count Basie's recordings much, I like the sound of a whole orchestra backing even if it's a jazz arrangement.


Every time it rains, it rains pennies from heaven.
 

03/3/2020 10:04 pm  #8


Re: REVIEW OF 'BING 'N' BASIE'

I find the "Bing with Basie" album very underwelming.  Had it had the kind of song choices and arrangements used in Tony Bennet's and Ella Fitzgerald's albums with Basie, the album would be unforgettable. Bing would have knocked it out of the park. Unfortunately, it didn't have those kinds of song choices or arrangements, and it is, sadly, rather forgettable.

To put it another way, I think Bing deserved to have top-notch, creative arrangements, and a set of excellent standards, going into that project.  I don't know why he didn't get that or who is to blame, but his talent deserved that, and he didn't get that level of quality music and material to work with.

 

03/3/2020 10:24 pm  #9


Re: REVIEW OF 'BING 'N' BASIE'

I agree with on on the song choices, keep in, say, Hangin' Loose then maybe include some jazz standards or songs he only recorded for radio, and I think the album would be better than the Sinatra-Basie collaborations. Like I said earlier about Count Basie, I don't like most of his recordings, even with Sinatra, but maybe Quincy Jones could have come to work with Basie again on the arrangements for Crosby. Sadly it never happened.

Also Steve, I just realized this, I don't like to share my location so I won't say exactly where I'm at, but you live right across from me, as I live in Clinton County in Iowa.


Every time it rains, it rains pennies from heaven.
 

04/3/2020 4:54 am  #10


Re: REVIEW OF 'BING 'N' BASIE'

Due to the meanderings of the big river, it looks like you'd be a good 3 hour drive almost due North of me.  A shorter drive when I was younger and only winked at the speed limit laws,  Maybe actually a lot longer than three hours, as I'm now a pokey old geezer who stays off of the Interstate to take the scenic route, not wanting to miss any of the cows and barns and old broken windmills along the way.  ;)

My older brother went to college in Mt. Carroll, Illinois, not far from Savannah, not so far up river from you. I've been through that country a few times.

 

04/3/2020 9:04 pm  #11


Re: REVIEW OF 'BING 'N' BASIE'

I’ve been to Mount Carroll to get a dog once.


Every time it rains, it rains pennies from heaven.
 

28/4/2021 12:16 am  #12


Re: REVIEW OF 'BING 'N' BASIE'

I’ve been giving this album another listen, and I’ve enjoyed it a lot more this time. I think a good few things could’ve been done better, whether actually recording in studio, or song choice, but overall I find it a lot more enjoyable this time around.


Every time it rains, it rains pennies from heaven.
 

21/5/2021 5:27 pm  #13


Re: REVIEW OF 'BING 'N' BASIE'

Definitely a great album I enjoyed listening to, as well! Thank you for your review.


"Would you like to swing on a star, carry moonbeams home in a jar and be better off than you are..."
 

10/3/2022 3:01 am  #14


Re: REVIEW OF 'BING 'N' BASIE'

Anton G.-F. wrote:

Dear all,

I've been listening to Bing 'n' Basie quite a bit lately, and so I've decided to write and publish a review of that album in my blog Bing Crosby on CD. If you're interested, you can read it here:

http://bingcrosbyoncd.blogspot.com/2014/11/bing-n-basie-daybreak-records-1972.html

Thanks, and I hope everyone's having a great weekend! http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png

Anton, a fabulous pitch perfect review! You seemed to have been reading my mind and thoughts on this for years and then re-phrasing them far more articulately, down to the very last track. I was so disappointed on buying and then hearing this. It just seemed so bland, weary and lacking in the expected fizz for what these two great artistes could have achieved. Particularly when you think of the rip roaring Basie of April in Paris and his three album collaboration with Sinatra and also the Bing of his "Bing Sings While Bregman Swings" album.
 

 

15/3/2022 12:18 am  #15


Re: REVIEW OF 'BING 'N' BASIE'

We celebrate the 50th anniversary of Bing recording his vocal tracks for this album today, tomorrow and the 16th of March. Time to pull out the album and give it a spin or two, eh?


All the best,
Paul M. Mock
 

15/3/2022 12:57 am  #16


Re: REVIEW OF 'BING 'N' BASIE'

paulmock wrote:

We celebrate the 50th anniversary of Bing recording his vocal tracks for this album today, tomorrow and the 16th of March. Time to pull out the album and give it a spin or two, eh?

Paul,
Most certainly!
I do not think I have listened to this for at least ten years. I have a pristine second hand LP copy  purchased in 1987 from "Music Inn", a wonderful big band specialist record store in my home city of Nottingham. Five years later I then had some of the happiest fifteen years of my working life being employed by these people. Thirty years later, it still survives. Thank you for the much appreciated anniversary notice to us all. It will certainly be spun! Lovely to hear from you.

Last edited by Ian Kerstein (15/3/2022 12:58 am)

 

15/3/2022 2:02 am  #17


Re: REVIEW OF 'BING 'N' BASIE'

Hi Ian and thanks for the warm wishes and "welcome". I am enjoying tonight's cocktail hour by pairing a Basie album on Daybreak recorded a few months before the "Meeting of the Titans" titled "Have a Nice Day" and then on to our Golden Anniversary celebrated album. (It should be well noted that during this period in 1971-1973 Sonny Burke had taken over as A&R director for Daybreak since his guy named Sinatra was in a retirement period. It was his idea to get Bing and the Count together on record!) Too Bad that the vocal  and the band did not see the light of day together. Oh well...   

Loved your record store tale and have one favorite of my own which just happens to be connected to our boy which I know I have told in a thread before here. About 15 years ago I was visiting a Hollywood book store that also sold records. I was down on my knees going thru boxes of albums on the floor when I found what was (for me) a treasure. A sealed mono copy of "El Sen'or Bing!" that had been sitting there for over 10 years! (I knew the length of time because they had the date of arrival in the store stamped on the pricing label).  It cost me $10.00! It is one of my most cherished of my Bing collection because of it's circumstance.

I hope some other members check in within the next few days to be able to celebrate the anniversary.

I  send you and all here my very best wishes as the world begins to once again come alive!  

Last edited by paulmock (15/3/2022 2:04 am)


All the best,
Paul M. Mock
 

21/3/2022 4:48 pm  #18


Re: REVIEW OF 'BING 'N' BASIE'

Well, Paul. Thanks again for your prior anniversary notice and kind words. As previously noted, for the first time in many a year, I gave Bing 'n Basie another spin. I must confess that along with some of the other members, I did enjoy it and more than expected. I did so alongside my cocktail hour pairing (you see already how keen I am to emulate you, here?) of it with my Basie choice of "Count Basie Live at the Sands (Before Frank)".  

It's that Warner/Reprise 1998 retro release of fourteen previously unissued live tracks recorded during Sinatra's Jan/Feb tenure there for his 1966 "Live at the Sands" album. I believe one or two were played each night as a warm up, prior to Frank's entrance. As with the Sinatra album, this is also, naturally a stunner due to... well, you'll know!

Having duly and gratefully taken note, I must now at some point buy, "Have a Nice Day".

"Bing 'n Basie" does have its moments but as you and others have mentioned these are still few and far between. Many of the band's arrangements seem so tepid. It also puts me in the uncomfortable position of having to disagree with the great Johnny Mercer who certainly knew a thing or three about great music - but in his sleeve notes praises the choice of songs. I did though very much enjoy his own contribution of "Hangin' Loose".

Just for the sheer arrogant fun of it (and the fact that I so desperately need to get myself a life), I've taken matters into my own hands and have re-organised this album. I understand song wise, the remit was so obviously towards the contemporary. I'll respect that but as Anton has pointed out in his magnificent review, it's these choices where much of the problem lies.

So with that in mind, along with hiring Quincy Jones to arrange and hopefully as many of you to co-produce (and suggest the tempos or alternative contemporary songs), I offer the following major and expanded adjustments: Should sales prove encouraging, we can then produce the dream Bing and Basie album with then decades of songs at our disposal: 

Side One
1: On a Clear Day
2: King of the Road
3: Gonna Build a Mountain
4: Put Your Hand in the Hand
5: Hangin' Loose
6: Everybody's Talkin'


Side Two
1: Feelin' Good
2: I Can't Stop Loving You
3: More
4: This Guy's in Love With You 
5: What Now, My Love?
6: When You Smile


* Mame (unreleased)

 

Last edited by Ian Kerstein (21/3/2022 5:25 pm)

 

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