Recorded Examples of Freddie Green's Rhythm Guitar

Freddie Green's musical career spanned six decades - from the 1930s to the 1980s. Here are brief excerpts from Freddie's recordings, specially selected to illustrate the progression of his style and unusual aspects of his talent. The transcribed musical notations for many of these excerpts are posted on this website. Just look for the link beside each audio clip below.

The Rhythm Guitar Style of Freddie Green

1. "I'll Always Be In Love With You"
June 30, 1937
Four note chord voicings influenced by his banjo background.
Count Basie Orchestra
Count Basie Orchestra At The Savoy Ballroom
CD: Masters of Jazz MLCD-1948
View Transcription

2. "Good Morning Blues"
December 24, 1939
Early recording of his unique one note chord technique. The guitar solo is by Charlie Christian.
Kansas City Six
Charlie Christian Radioland 1939-1941
CD: Fuel 2000 30206-11672

3. "Blue Lou"
July 1945
One note chord technique is easily heard.
Count Basie Orchestra
Old Manuscripts: Broadcast Transcriptions 1944/45
CD: Music & Arts CD-884
View Transcription

4. "She's A Wino"
June 29, 1949
Rare recording where the guitar plays on the upbeat.
Count Basie Orchestra with Jimmy Rushing
Shoutin' Blues
CD: Past Perfect 204550-202

5. "Rat Race"
February 6, 1950
Freddie is heard in a small group context.
Count Basie Octet
Shoutin' Blues
CD: Past Perfect 204550-202
View Transcription

6. "The Comeback"
May 17, 1955
Tritone played on the 4th and 3rd strings is the primary voicing.
Count Basie Orchestra
Count Basie Swings - Joe Williams Sings
CD: Verve 314 519-852-2
View Transcription

7. "Easin' It"
April 24, 1962
Freddie slides into voicings from below and from above.
Count Basie Orchestra
Count Basie - Live in ‘62
View Transcription

8. "Li'l Darlin''
July 23, 1968
The celebrated opening G13 arpeggio made famous by Freddie.
Count Basie Orchestra
Count Basie - Wild & Swinging
CD: Fuel 2000  302 061 352 2
View Transcription

9. "Cherry Point"
April 17, 1972
Length of the guitar's quarter note pulse is varied in a subtle manner.
Count Basie Orchestra
Count Basie - Paris Jazz Concert
CD: Malco Jazz Records MJD 1203
View Transcription

10. "Ode To Pres"
September 4, 1979
Freddie creates a counter melody to complement the bass line.
Count Basie Octet
Get Together
CD: Pablo  PACD-2310-924-2
View Transcription

11. "Hail To The Chief"
August 1982
Considered to be the finest recording of Freddie's guitar sound.
Butch Miles Nonet
Hail To The Chief
LP: Famous Door HL145
View Transcription

12. "One Armed Bandit"
October (?) 1986
A superb example of Freddie's mature style.
Ray Brown and John Clayton Quintet
Super Bass
CD: Capri Records 74018-2
View Transcription

13. "Trav'lin' Light"
February 25, 1987
The final recording of Freddie Green's long career.
Count Basie Orchestra
Diane Schuur & the Count Basie Orchestra
DVD: Image Entertainment ID 5717 ER DVD
View Transcription

Chord and Single Note Solos of Freddie Green

14. "Little Red"
December 18, 1955
Solo guitar provides the introduction.
Freddie Green Septet
Natural Rhythm
CD: RCA Bluebird 6465-2-RB
View Transcription

15. "Ain't Misbehavin'"
October 16, 1958
Freddie solos with single notes and chords.
Count Basie Quartet with Joe Williams
Memories Ad-Lib
LP: Roulette R-52021
View Transcription

16. "Cute"
February 6, 1959
The band sings about Freddie and he answers with chord fills.
Count Basie Orchestra
CD: Jazz Time JTM 8110
View Transcription

17. "The Elder"
July 1, 1962
Call and response between the band and the guitar.
Count Basie Orchestra
Back With Basie
LP: Roulette R-52111
View Transcription

Freddie's Other Talents

18. "Boll Weevil"
August (?) 1954
Freddie provides accompaniment for southern folk singer Brother John Sellers.
Brother John Sellers Sings Blues And Folk Songs
CD: Vanguard 79036-2

19. "Them There Eyes"
September 8, 1938
Freddie sings!
Buck Clayton's Kansas City Six
Fiesta in Blue
CD: Past Perfect 205732

What A Difference Freddie Makes!

20. "Signifying " and "Blues For Joel"
April 7,1980
The Count Basie Trio plays the blues without Freddie, and then with Freddie.
Kansas City Shout
LP: Pablo 2310-859

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