One O'Clock Jump
"One O'Clock Jump" is a jazz standard, a 12-bar blues instrumental, written by Count Basie in 1937. The melody derived from band members' riffs--Basie rarely wrote down musical ideas, so Eddie Durham and Buster Smith helped him crystallize his ideas. The original 1937 recording of the tune by Basie and his band is noted for the saxophone work of Herschel Evans and Lester Young, trumpet by Buck Clayton, Walter Page on bass and Basie himself on piano.
|"One O'Clock Jump"|
|Single by Count Basie|
|Recorded||July 7, 1937, New York, NY|
- For the 1957 album featuring Count Basie, Joe Williams and Ella Fitzgerald see One O'Clock Jump (album)
"One O'Clock Jump" became the theme song of the Count Basie Orchestra. They used it to close each of their concerts for the next half century. It was reportedly titled "Blue Ball" at first but a radio announcer feared that title was too risqué.
Later, "One O'Clock Jump" was to be listed in the Songs of the Century.
The song is typical of Basie's early riff style. The instrumentation is based on "head arrangements" where each section makes up their part based on what the other sections are playing. Individuals take turns improvising over the top of the entire sound. Basie recorded "One O'Clock Jump" several times after the original performance for Decca in 1937, for Columbia in 1942 and 1950 and on a number of occasions in the fifties. "Two O'Clock Jump" was a performance by Harry James and his big band in 1939, slightly based on "One O'Clock Jump" but using triplets. Several versions of the original by Harry James and Benny Goodman feature the "Two O'Clock Jump" ending. Lionel Hampton used the song as his theme song for a while as well. Basie later released "Jumpin' at the Woodside" in a similar style.
A popular jazz standard for virtually all top swing bands and their fans and jitterbuggers, it was part of the concert bill for Benny Goodman's famous 1938 concert at Carnegie Hall. It was also the last number ever recorded by Earl Hines, in 1981 after a 58-year recording career.