Jazz: Homage to the Count

The jazz world puts all its heroes in "bags"—tight little schools of artistic similarity that confine each jazzman to his own musical neighborhood: Funk, Freedom, Groove, Bop, Soul. Only three great players have managed to avoid classification—Thelonious Monk because he is inimitable and Monkishly alone, Duke Ellington because he is a kind of president emeritus, and Count Basie because he so perfectly swings. Last week, in a wild and woolly engagement at Manhattan's Basin Street East, the Count's pigeonhole at last be came apparent: he's in the New Year's Eve bag.

Long Eclipse. The Count is more loved than admired by...

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