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Photographer's Note

Count Basie was one of the giants of Big Band Jazz. He was born in New Jersey, but made Kansas City his home. Long after he had retired from touring, he would play for free every year near his birthday. His style was generally a spare, minimal, light touch, just the right notes at just the right time; he "had it" right to the end.

This was originally shot on 400 ASA Ektachrome, push-processed to 800. It was taken at the last of his Birthday Shows, in August 1983. He was celebrating his 79th birthday. Twenty-five thousand people packed the ampitheater at Crown Plaza. I was lucky to be there, and even luckier to spend a few brief moments crouched at the side of his piano.

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Additional Photos by Russ Ham (EstudioChispa) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 258 W: 90 N: 498] (2182)
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