AMULQ = QUALM
RJEKO = JOKER
DZCOIA = ZODIAC
PRIZEP = ZIPPER
WHEN PEOPLE FIRST SAW COUNT BASIE PERFORM, THEY WERE – – –
UAJEZDZP = JAZZED UP
Good Monday morning, everyone! It was an easy start to the week with all of our clue words having been used before. I thought QUALM was going to be a brand new word, but a search of the archives found that David used it over 5 years ago on 11/30/13. It was pretty easy to unmask because of the oddball “Q” at the end of the layout, but since it was used such a long time ago, it’ll pull double duty as the oldest word of the day and my most difficult anagram. ZIPPER ended up being our most recently used word and it was jumbled the exact way we saw it this morning on 9/17/18.
Our cartoon brings us to a club where we see a band performing on stage. Jeff surely outdid himself by drawing a total of 9 different characters, but he made it quite obvious who our attention should be focused on by placing the piano smack-dab in the middle of the panel. A quick read of the sentence identified the pianist as Count Basie and the four other musicians would later be identified as members of the “Count Basie Orchestra”.
William James Basie was born on August 21, 1904 in Red Bank, New Jersey. Both of his parents were musically inclined with his father playing the mellophone (think French horn), while his mother played the piano. She gave the young Basie his first piano lessons and would later pay for more professional instruction at the cost of 25 cents per lesson.
At the age of 15, Basie moved to Harlem which was the hotbed of jazz at the time. He made friends with other musicians who were making the scene and eventually toured in several acts for many years. In 1937, his career would blossom and his orchestra would perform regularly at the Woodside Hotel in Harlem. He would go on to perform for audiences in several other New York City locations before moving on to tour in Boston, Los Angeles and eventually Chicago where he would make his first recording.
Basie created innovations such as the use of “split” tenor saxopohnes. I noticed that Jeff included two men playing the saxophone in his cartoon and couldn’t help but wonder if he was drawing caricatures of Lester Young and Herschel Evans who were prominent members of the Count Basie Orchestra.
With all of the Basie background out of the way, I remembered that I overlooked one important detail. Are you wondering how he got his nickname? The Count would recount in an interview later in his career that it happened in 1936 at the Reno Club in Kansas City. An announcer was going to introduce him but told him beforehand that Bill Basie was an ordinary name. He said “Bill, I’ll call you Count Basie from now on. Is that all right with you?” Basie thought he was joking but and replied “OK.” The name stuck and the rest is history!
The final solve was an anagram consisting of 8-letters. No matter how hard David may have tried, there was no way of hiding those Z’s! The J brought JAZZ to mind leaving UP and the -ED suffix for a quick finish. Monday’s games are usually easy on the noggin, so I’m glad Jeff gave us interesting subject matter in his cartoon to make the puzzle last a bit longer. Have a merry Monday, and I’ll see you right back here tomorrow!