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Night piece In honor of Count Basie

By David Shallis / August 30, 1982

Not gold; gold is too vulgar, too malleable for this massive edged assault - say, bronze rather chased here and there with silver: the flute curving a narrow course out of the blazing horns.

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and all of it hung on this: a stillness intercepted by slight, deceptive phrases the piano, poised spare elegance laced with a quiet wit.

the drummer meshes shimmers

loops up the bass:rebuilds the vast and glittering bird and Basie, beaming, utterly precise skims off

to gleam among the chimneys trailing fire from this darkened room to the wet and winded stars.