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Count Basie, a pianist in big-band jazz era
Count Basie, who passed on here Thursday, was one of the great figures in the era of big-band jazz. Mr. Basie, a pianist, helped to popularize the swing style and then forged into more progressive styles later.
Basie, whose hallmark was a driving power and spare, meticulous arrangements, had a worldwide reputation as an innovative swing band leader and orchestrator second only to Duke Ellington.