The Count Basie Band Plays the "One O'Clock Jump"

William "Count" Basie

A very brief example of the riff style can be heard in the Count Basie band's signature tune "One O'Clock Jump," based on three different repeated motifs, or riffs, carried first by the saxophones, then by the trumpets, finally by trombones.

For many students of American music, "big band" swing represents a pinnacle of American musical form, combining harmonic sophistication, improvisational brilliance, and danceable accessibility. Others, however, have criticized swing as overly commercial, regimented, and mechanical.