Book Excerpt: Marshal Royal - Jazz Survivor
Authors: Marshal Royal and Claire P. Gordon
When I joined the Count Basie Septet, there was also the perennial Freddie Green on guitar. Freddie had been with Basie since the Lord formed the world, it seemed like. He was with the band from 1937 until he died just a couple of years ago. He never played electric guitar, always just straight acoustic guitar and he was the best that ever did it. Hundreds of people throughout the world have tried to attain the particular sound, the drive, the rhythmic patterns of Freddie Green, but no one has ever got to the place where they played that particular type of guitar as well. It wouldn't be productive these days, though, because it isn't loud enough, according to how loudly bands seem to play lately. Freddie never left the Basie band until the day he died. After a gig in Las Vegas one morning, he had a heart attack and that was it.
[Editor's Note: Freddie Green's Death Certificate lists the cause of death to be "spontaneous intracranial hemorrhage", which is not a heart-attack.]