Count Basie was one of America’s pre-eminent and influential jazz pianists, bandleaders, and composers, known for such classics as “Jumpin’ at the Woodside,” “Goin’ to Chicago Blues,” “Sent for You Yesterday and Here You Come Today,” and “One O’Clock Jump.” In Good Morning Blues, Basie recounts his life story to Albert Murray, from his childhood years playing ragtime with his own pickup band at dances and pig roasts, to his years in New York City in search of opportunity, to rollicking anecdotes of Basie’s encounters with Fats Waller, Frank Sinatra, Fred Astaire, Sammy Davis Jr., Quincy Jones, Billie Holliday, and Tony Bennett. In this classic of jazz autobiography that was ten years in the making, Albert Murray brings the voice of Count Basie to the printed page in what is both testimony and tribute to an incredibly rich life.
William James “Count” Basie (1904-84) was an American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer.
Albert Murray (1916-2013), author of thirteen books including Stomping the Blues, was a renowned jazz historian, novelist, and social and cultural theorist. He cofounded Jazz at Lincoln Center in 1987.
Dan Morgenstern is a jazz critic and Director Emeritus of the Institute for Jazz Studies at Rutgers University. He is the author of Jazz People (1976); and Living with Jazz (2004), a reader edited by Sheldon Meyer, both winners of ASCAP’s Deems Taylor Award. In 2007, he received the A.B. Spellman Jazz Masters Award for Jazz Advocacy from the National Endowment for the Arts.
"Good Morning Blues is a remarkable achievement . . . Mr. Murray is an excellent arranger for the Count, just as the Count was an excellent leader of his orchestra."—New York Times Book Review
"Good Morning Blues is packed with fine stories . . . told in a wry, sly prose that sounds for all the world like Basie himself at the keyboard . . . The book positively sparkles."—Washington Post
"Like Basie’s music, his as-told-to autobiography is decidedly upbeat and life-affirming."—Kirkus Reviews
"A classic in jazz literature."—Shepherd Express
"These are the words of a hero and deserve your attention."—Jazzwise Magazine
"One of the best-written and most engaging autobiographies of the past century."—The Syncopated Times