Monthly Archives: June 2018

Dark Morning

This pretty tune appears on the album Swinging, Singing, Playing by the Count Basie Orchestra.  One of only a handful of Basie alumni playing with the band, trombonist and arranger Dennis Wilson does a nice job of capturing the vibe and easy swing of the old orchestra.  To me, this song calls to mind the Basie records of the late 50s, when Thad Jones was writing and arranging for the band.  Wilson says he wrote this the day Basie died in 1984.

Dark Morning

Blue Rose

I transcribed this from a mix CD given to me about ten years ago.  I only knew it from an Eric Reed album called Blue Monk, but keen readers pointed out that it’s an Ellington/Strayhorn song from a 1956 Rosemary Clooney album of the same name.

The album is really a better vehicle for what is perhaps my favorite Ellington band roster.  The arrangements fit the band like a glove; the featured soloists get lots of dedicated space, and the ensemble writing is so good as to distract from Rosemary’s rather straight readings of the melodies.

Blue Rose