Basie Straight Ahead

Count Basie & His Orchestra: Basie Straight Ahead

Listen to the album,”Basie – Straight Ahead” at least three times in its entirety, prior to answering the questions below. Use the album liner notes, Wikipedia, and other online sources for factual information; but write with your own words. Submit your responses to your ensemble director via email, by April 14th at 2:00 p.m.


  1. Basie – Straight Ahead: - Straight Ahead
  2. It’s Oh, So Nice:
  3. Lonely Street:
  4. Fun Time:
  5. Magic Flea:
  6. Switch In Time:
  7. Hay Burner:
  8. That Warm Feeling:
  9. The Queen Bee:

Liner Notes: Basie – Straight Ahead

Count Basie and His Orchestra: Straight Ahead – LINER NOTES


  1. Who is the composer/arranger of all selections on the album?
  2. In a paragraph, summarize the primary arranger’s career accomplishments and professional associations.
  3. List the band personnel and instruments played, organized by section.
  4. What was the album’s recording date? What was happening in the world at and just prior to the time during which the album was recorded?
  5. Is the album an accurate reflection of its time? What shaped your opinion?
  6. Find one solo played on your instrument, and describe it in detail. Discuss vibrato (if applicable), articulation and other stylistic techniques incorporated. If your instrument is not represented amongst the solos, choose any solo instrument.
  7. Select one song and characterize the “comping” (accompaniment) by the pianist and/or guitarist. (Was it rhythmically active or selectively sparse? Was the approach strictly the use of chordal punctuations or were linear fills incorporated? How did they interact with the ensemble and soloists?)
  8. Using a different track, listen in a focused manner to the drum set playing. Describe the role played and approach taken by the drummer, as they played behind the melody, a solo, and a shout chorus.
  9. Cite two specific examples of where brass mutes are utilized. List both the song title(s) and the counter times at which they occurred. Identify the specific mute(s). In these instances, what effect or purpose was achieved by mute usage?
  10. Of the various tracks on this recording, which is your favorite arrangement? What musical/aesthetic elements appealed to you?


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