A smoking set of all-star performances – recorded at
Carnegie Hall in 1954, and with a sense of tremendous talent that may well blow away some of the Jazz At
sets of the time! The material here is heavy on Count Basie performances – excellent material from that period when he was really hitting full power again on Verve – with strong solos from Frank Foster and Frank Wess on reeds, plus work from Joe Newman on trumpet! Lester Young's tenor also joins Basie's group at
one point – and Sarah Vaughan sings with the group too – but the set also features some more Verve-like performances – from Charlie Parker on alto, and Billie Holiday on vocals, who gets almost one side of the record to herself. There's a huge amount of material on the double-length set – and titles include "My Funny Valentine", "Cool Blues", and "The Song Is You" by Charlie Parker; "Them There Eyes", "My Man", and "Lover Man" by Billie Holiday; "Saturday", "Time", "That Old Devil Moon", and "Don't Blame Me" by Sarah Vaughan; and "Lullaby Of Birdland", "Sure Thing", "Perdido", "Blues Backstage", and "You For Me" by Count Basie.