Book Excerpt: The Jazz Book: From Ragtime to Fusion and
Book: The Jazz Book: From
Ragtime to Fusion and Beyond
Author: Joachim E. Berendt
Copyright: 1992 (Sixth edition)
Publisher: Lawrence Hill Books - Brooklyn, New York
The supreme representative of the rhythmic chord style of playing is
Freddie Green, the most faithful of all Count Basie band members, from
the Count's death in 1984. (Green himself died three years later.) Indeed,
what is meant by the concept "Basie" is in no small degree to
Freddie Green's credit: the tremendous unity of the Basie rhythm sections.
Nowhere else in jazz did rhythm become "sound" to the degree
it did with Basie, and this sound, basically, is the sound of Freddie Green's
guitar. He hardly ever plays solos or is featured, yet he is one of the
most dependable guitarists in jazz history. Green is the only guitarist
who surmounted the breach created by Charlie Christian as if there had
been no breach at all.
In Basie's 1937 recording of "Time Out", the contrast between
Freddie Green's rhythm acoustic guitar and Eddie Durham's solo electric
guitar is charming.
In the 1970's, Freddie Green was still lending the Basie band his unmistakable
guitar sounds; and with Butch Miles, Basie had again found an outstanding