Again and Again
Even when Benny Carter wasn't writing for Count Basie, many of his charts from the 1950's onward sound like they could have been written for Basie. Maybe this is because so many of Basie's arrangers (Sammy Nestico, Quincy Jones, Billy Byers and Neal Hefti) were influenced by Carter. The writing is straightforward, with simple harmonies, swinging rhythms and very clear counterpoint. Again And Again has much of the style of an alto feature that Quincy Jones might have written for Marshall Royal. Although Carter gives the pianist two little solo spots, the focus is on the lead alto. The backgrounds are spare and dry, so it is incumbent upon the soloist to supply the warmth and personality to tell this gentle story. Vibrato, scoops, bends, turns, and other devices can be used to bring this simple line to life.