Book Excerpt: John Hammond On Record: An Autobiography
Author: John Hammond with Irving Townsend
Excerpts from pages 175 - 177
About a week after the Basie opening at Roseland, I arranged to take Bill Basie, Lester Young, Walter Page, Jo Jones, and Buck Clayton down to the Black Cat. And because Benny Goodman also closed at one o'clock I persuaded him to join us. I wanted Bill's rhythm section to hear Freddie and - always thinking, always thinking - I wanted Benny to hear Lester sitting in and blowing freely in the intimate sort of musical surroundings a small jazz group always offers.
It was quite a night. Benny had brought his clarinet, so he sat in. Basie took over at the piano and Jo on drums, but Frank Clarke remained on bass and, of course, Freddie Green continued on the guitar. The result of our visit was that Basie hired Freddie Green to replace Claude Williams. Dropping Claude nearly broke Basie's heart, but Green was too great to pass up.