COUNT BASIE: THROUGH HIS OWN EYES

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A revealing biography, produced by Eagle Rock Entertainment, and told in Count Basie’s own words. It uncovers for the first time the private passions and ambitions that inspired the world-famous bandleader and pianist. Until now, little was known about Basie’s private and family life, but director Jeremy Marre has uncovered a treasure-trove of home movies and photo albums that expose Basie’s remarkable relationship with his wife Catherine, whose pioneering support for African-American causes placed her at the side of Martin Luther King.

Through Basie’s intimate footage and letters - and interviews with friends like Quincy Jones and Annie Ross - we discover the Count’s protective love for his disabled daughter Diane "who was never out of his heart and mind: the hidden core of his creative life".

Basie’s musical achievements were remarkable: the first African-American to win a Grammy, and he went on to earn eight additional Grammys, and brought the Blues to the big band podium. He was ‘the King of the Swing Kings’. The programme features rare performances with Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Sammy Davis Jnr. and many others and digs deeper to explore the inner motivation and passions that drove Basie’s career as he became a unique link between jazz and America’s turbulent social history. Count Basie: Through His Own Eyes was the final film produced and directed by renowned music documentary director Jeremy Marre, who died aged 76 in April 2020.

 

Director Jeremy Marre

Count Basie's words spoken by Clarke Peters

Exec Producers Geoff Kempin, Terry Shand, and Mark Cooper

Eagle Rock Films

BBC TV 75 mins 2020

 

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