Frank Wess on the Basie "family"

Now, a Jazz Moment...

MUSIC: "Half Moon Street" CD: Chairman of the Board, Roulette Jazz 7243 5 8166422 (cut 9)

NEA Jazz Master Frank Wess played with the Count Basie Orchestra for over 10 years.   He feels it was one of the greatest bands in history for 3 reasons. It was a group of unquestionably talented musicians, they worked very hard, and they became family.

Frank Wess: See, that's the only way you can have a band is let the people stay together long enough to know each other.   Whether they like each other or not, they'd know each other musically.   And they can work together, and they can play together.   They can all go in the same direction at the same time.   If you fire people every four, six months, you know, I don't care how good they are, you've still got a bunch of strangers sitting on the bandstand, you know. So, once you let people get to know each other, they stay there for long enough, they get to be brothers.   You got a family.   Everybody's happy, and the music shows it.   (:38)

MUSIC: up and fades under

This Jazz Moment with saxophonist Frank Wess was created by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Frank Wess on the Basie "family"