Celebrating Count Basie On His Centennial: The Sound Of Oneness (excerpts)

Periodical: Downbeat
Date: September 2004
Pages: 38 - 43
Authors: John Janowiak

"There's no guidebook or training course for becoming a member of the Count Basie Orchestra. It's always been a sink-or-swim situation. Though Basie was easygoing, there was no mistaking that he was the boss. He offered little in the way of verbal instruction, leaving the details to a designated musical leader or straw boss. By all accounts, his lifelong guitarist, Freddie Green, was downright fearsome. Make one wrong move and you'd get "The Ray", a lethal dart from his steely dark eyes."

"With all its power, the Basie band tends to lay back on the beat. The laid-back feel had a lot to do with Freddie Green's guitar, which was a dominant rhythmic force even though it was scarcely heard beyond the bandstand."

"As legend has it, Freddie Green once put it this way: "The Count don't do much, but he does it better than anyone else."

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