‘Swing’ refers to the style of jazz that was popular from approximately 1930 till around World War II. The music of the swing era, which are mostly performed by big bands, reached its audiences over the radio, on records, and in nation-wide dance halls.

Count Basie (1904 – 1984)

Count Basie was one of the important Swing era musicians.

Pianist Count Basie led his band for nearly 50 years and he is regarded as one of the finest bandleaders. His band was one of the most outstanding blues-based bands of the Southwest, and was known for focusing on music with easy rhythmic feel over simple bluesy arrangements, an important aspect for the swing bands.

Count Basie’s piano style was dispersed yet intense and meticulous, while his compositions were bluesy, dashing and stirring. These music elements of his were highly popular with his audiences.

Basie’s later years were mainly focused on written arrangements, which had remained a commanding musical influence until his death in 1984.

~Written by Boon Sin Ler

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