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Non-Prog DVD/Video Reviews

Count Basie

and His Orchestra – Live in Berlin & Stockholm 1968 DVD

Review by Gary Hill

Count Basie was certainly a legend of jazz. Perhaps “Legend” isn’t a strong enough word.  Many times when someone’s star shines that brightly a lot of it is unearned hoopla. Well, in this case he deserved every bit of it. The music on this DVD shows that the incredible musical prowess of Count Basie and his outfit is still nearly unmatched to this day. These awesome performances alone make this worth having. It’s a good thing the music is that good, though. The sound quality on this is weak and the black and white video footage leaves a lot to be desired – even by 1960’s standards. This is worth having because the performances have never before been released on DVD. If there aren’t any better copies out there, though, that’s a shame. If there are the shame is on the record label for releasing from this one. In other words, this is a good DVD strictly on the strength of the performances.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 2 at
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