Count Basie and the Kansas City 7
Count Basie and the Kansas City 7 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Before we get too far away from the biggest legends of jazz, we can’t overlook Count Basie.

No way, no how.

You don’t go through the classic jazz style without hitting upon Basie classics like “One O’Clock Jump” or “April In Paris.”

Basie was a natural pianist, and his mother helped him along on the instrument.  He was good at improvisation at a young age as well, and it paid off when he ended up having to fill in for the regular piano player at a vaudeville theater when he worked there at a young age.

By his mid-teens, he started playing small gigs.  Around the age of 20, he went to Harlem and took in its jazz scene, starting to get more of a foothold himself.  He got the nickname “Count” in 1928.

Musical royalty was about to take its throne.

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