Basil Fomeen was a composer, arranger, conductor and very nearly a one-man band.
Born Wasily Fomin in Kharkoff, Russia, Basil Fomeen headed the…Basil Fomeen Orchestra. Here they are with 1928 Medley, Part 2 recorded in 1942.
The Orchestra was a fixture at NY’s Savoy Plaza hotel and the Waldorf Astoria in the nineteen thirties, and performed with the USO during World War Two.
Basil Fomeen is perhaps best known for his accordion arrangement of George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”.
He’s probably least known as the inventor of an instrument he called the ‘basiphon,’ a piano, harmonium, vibraphone, chimes, and cimbalom all rolled into one.