This is our second visit to the Count Basie theatre which although built as the Carlton theatre in 1926 was only renamed in 1984 to honour jazz great and Red Bank native William “Count” Basie. The theatre also hosted James Brown’s last show before his death. Although $1 million has been spent on theatre improvements to date, funded by donations and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the backstage dressing rooms remain, shall we say, cosy. As is so often the case with all theatres dating from this period, there is not a lot of space for a large band to spread out. I wonder how they facilitate an orchestra or big band. Nevertheless, the theatre is fabulous and a brief walk around the town confirms that it’s quite lovely. The borough was unsurprisingly named for the red soil along the Navesink River. I realised this as I walked a few blocks to the river bank and met with a duck who seemed to take a liking to me as he followed me for a while before he realised I didn’t have any bread!