Book: Masters of Jazz Guitar - The Story of the Players and Their
From the chapter "Masters of Rhythm":
Overlooked, undervalued and sometimes almost inaudible, the guitar at the heart of the rhythm section was nonetheless crucial to the developing range and complexity of jazz as it moved into the era of the big bands.
(Paragraph above is a caption under the chapter heading "Masters of Rhythm")
In that sense (of being a rock-solid timekeeper), Freddie Guy resembled the most famous big-band guitarist of them all.
(Sentence above refers to a preceding paragraph about Freddie Guy)
Freddie Green joined Count Basie's band in 1937 and stayed for the best
part of 50 years. He exemplifies the selflessness which came to be the
swing orchestra's staple requirement from a guitarist. A southpaw (Note:
Freddie played guitar right-handed, not left-handed. - M. Pettersen),
never granted a soloist's spotlight, he simply played an apposite chord
on each beat of the bar, his light strumming eventually becoming such
a signature touch that it was as inimitable as Basie's minmalism and Jo
Jones' deft swing. You can hear him on what was only his third recording
date with Basie, in August 1937, meshing handsomely with the rest of the
rhythm section behind Jimmy Rushing on "Good Morning Blues".
As recording standards improved, the guitar assumed a resonance in studios
which it had trouble finding on the bandstand: Green is unobtrusive, but
he can be heard.
His three note and four note chords throbbed at the heart of Count Basie's rhythm section for 50 years from 1937. Count Basie's "The Atomic Mr. Basie" album from 1957 features the superb writing of Neil Hefti, and is a big band classic. Freddie Green's guitar, beautifully recorded, drives the band along on the fast tempos, and sets the mood for the ballad "Lil' Darlin'" with a harp-like introductory arpeggio.