Book Excerpt: The Guitar In Jazz

Book: The Guitar In Jazz
Editor: James Sallis
Copyright: 1996
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
ISBN: 0-8032-4250-6

page 3
In the six years that separated Eddie Lang's death from the so-called Charlie Christian era of the electric guitar, there were only half a dozen guitarists who left footprints still discernable. Two were strictly rhythm guitarists - Eddie Condon, whose banjo or guitar livened many a small combo jam session but has never yet been heard in a solo role, and Freddie Green, whose imperative, rock-steady rhythm was tied like a tugboat to the Basie liner not long after it docked in New York. After nearly forty years with Basie, Green is still considered unique in his class and still has never taken anything more than a few brief, unamplified solos. - Leonard Feather

page 5
I joined Count Basie's band in the summer of 1937 and stayed with him a little over a year. Toward the end of that time I made two sessions with the Kansas City Five or Six, just a few guys out of the Basie band, with Freddie Green playing rhythm guitar and myself on electric. - Eddie Durham

page 144
My favorite record is "Undercurrent" with Bill Evans and Jim Hall. At one point during Bill's solo in "My Funny Valentine", Jim turns his guitar down to where it is essentially acoustic and plays straight time, indicating that he was influenced by Freddie Green. - John Stowell

page 147
The supreme representative of the rhythmic chord style of playing is Freddie Green, the most faithful of all Count Basie band members, from 1937 until the Count's death in 1984. (Green himself died three years later.) Indeed, what is meant by the concept "Basie" is in no small degree to Freddie Green's credit: the tremendous unity of the Basie rhythm sections. Nowhere else in jazz did rhythm become "sound" to the degree it did with Basie, and this sound, basically, is the sound of Freddie Green's guitar. He hardly ever plays solos or is featured, yet he is one of the most dependable guitarists in jazz history. Green is the only guitarist who surmounted the breach created by Charlie Christian as if there had been no breach at all. Green, by the way, has a very prosperous successor on today's rock, jazz-rock, funk, and soul scene: Cornell Dupree, who plays the kind of dependable rhythm guitar that Green has played for six decades in the Basie band. - Joachim Berendt

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