Count Basie was one of the architects of swing. Bringing the beat to the forefront, it's not surprising that one of his most loved bands was called Count Basie and His Barons of Rhythm. His music was as complex as any jazz composer's, but he could also make an entire orchestra sound like one wild drum kit with the genius of his arrangements. R&B and rock eventually replaced swing as pop's rhythms of choice, and jazz itself only grew less user-friendly. Basie didn't shy away from these developments, but he also never abandoned the idea that a big band's big beats could bring people together.