COUNT BASIE: Through his own eyes

Documentary, told in Count Basie’s own words, which reveals 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 found a treasure trove of home movies and photo albums that show 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. He was the first African-American musician to win a Grammy. He brought the blues to the big band podium. He was ‘King of the Swing Kings’. We see rare performances with Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Sammy Davis Jr and many others. But this film digs deeper, uncovering the inner motivation and passions that drove Basie’s career as he became a unique link between jazz and America’s turbulent social history.


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