The drought of the past two weeks is ever, with Count Basic moving into the RKO Boston. This would be good news if the memories of how Duke Ellington's engagement was botched up weren't so strong. If you caught the date, to band was put so far backstage as to be practically out in the street, and the result was only a jumble of noise, rather than music. Even worse was the choice of numbers which Duke was forced to play.
Basie's band seems to be holding up from all reports, so that any smell emanating from this engagement, can probably be laid to the management.
To make up for the loss of Bill Davison's fine group, the Ken has imported George Johnson, ex-Raymond Scott. Further back, George's alto used to be one of the biggest kicks in Franckie Newton's old band. His present outfit is only four pieces, but it is soon to be augmented, possibly by Emmett Berry, exTeddy Wilson and Horace Henderson.
By now you may have heard the news that John Kirby and his orchestra are playing at Symphony Hall Thursday, April 15th. We can't get excited about Kirby's band, though many people do, but other acts on the program should make the concert definitely worth-while. There will be two of the boogie-woogie boys, Albert Ammons and Pete Johnson, who play boogie the way it should be played, Ella Fitzgerald, who needs no recommendation, and Una Mae Carlisle, who does.
Hazel Scott was mentioned originally, but fortunately was not able to make it. This may not be much of a recommendation, but Una Mae beats her on every count.