CD: Marc Seales, New Stories: Speaking out. Marc is a master of music and was Scot's jazz piano mentor.

If you have a question, ask! Pro jazz pianists in the forums want to help you out, but you need to ask if you want answers. The best answers always come from your own discussions.

Root | The Piano Lounge | post reply

Jazz Piano Discussions: log in, create an account, and be part of the original & longest running online jazz piano community the web has to offer!

How to play Count Basie piano ending? |

jazz jasper -- 09/24/2011, 12:40:52 -- msg #49024

Hello all

Just wondering the proper version of how to play the Count Basie piano ending.  It's heard at the end of a lot of big band pieces, you know the chromatic piano part where everyone comes out and the piano plays high up.  Please can someone spell it out or notate it for me.  I've figured out a basic version but it doesn't sound right!


Scot -- 09/26/2011, 09:14:52

There are a lot of ways to do the Count Basie ending.  The main idea is to get the F moving in half steps to G and the D moving in half steps to E.  I won't go over the rhythm, you can pick that up on any recording.

The Count Basie ending I normally use has the right hand playing a C octave with an F in the middle, while the left hand plays a C and an A (a sixth) with the D added.  I leave the "outside" notes the same and move the D to D# and the F to F#, then I move the D# to E and the F# to G for the last hit.

Play this version up so that your left hand little finger is playing the C that is one octave above middle C.

Hope this helps!  I stole this version from Monty Alexander, probably from the Satin Doll tune on the live in Montreaux disc.

jazz jasper -- 09/29/2011, 16:00:05

Thanks very much for this Scot, I tried this version tonight at a gig and it sounded great!

DrJazz -- 09/29/2011, 16:58:50

An even simpler way to play this ending in the right hand only is:

FC - F#C - GC (both notes played together, high up the keyboard)


FC - EbC - EC (ie: encircling the 3rd of the C chord, E)

Putting these together gives these chords, all played with C as the top note:

Dm7 - Ebdim7 - C/E

One thing I've come to realise about this ending is that it fits rhythmically with the 'Take the A Train' ending - so if you're playing with a guitarist one of you can do Count Basie, the other Duke Ellington- and it'll sound great!

Scot -- 09/29/2011, 18:41:32

Dr- I figured that thing out about the A-Train ending and Count Basie ending- in fact, sometimes I'll do the a-train ending in the left hand while doing the basie ending in the right hand.  Lewis Carrol would be pleased, in a musical sense.  He once wrote:

For instance, take the two words "fuming" and "furious." Make up your mind that you will say both words, but leave it unsettled which you will say first. Now open your mouth and speak. If your thoughts incline ever so little towards "fuming," you will say "fuming-furious;" if they turn, by even a hair's breadth, towards "furious," you will say "furious-fuming;" but if you have the rarest of gifts, a perfectly balanced mind, you will say "frumious."  

DrJazz -- 10/04/2011, 16:39:56

Nice quote, Scot!!!

You must login to post messages and access other features.

username: password       create a new account | retrieve your login info
sheet music search
sheet music search

sheet music search

All Forums