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"
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 DVD: Jazz Icons DVWW-JICOB 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"
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
February 6, 1959
The band sings about Freddie and he answers with chord fills.
Count Basie Orchestra Cute 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
Buck Clayton's Kansas City Six Fiesta in Blue CD: Past Perfect 205732
What A Difference Freddie Makes!
20. "Signifying " and "Blues For Joel"
The Count Basie Trio plays the blues without Freddie, and then with Freddie. Kansas City Shout LP: Pablo 2310-859