Book Excerpt: The Big Bands
Author: George T. Simon
Publisher: Schimer Books - New York
Billie Holiday fitted in wonderfully with the Basie band, whose members
appreciated her impeccable musicianship and with several of whom, notable
Freddie Green and Lester Young, she struck up especially rewarding relationships
As Basie pointed out, his rhythm section has always been extremely important.
His light yet invariably swinging piano has set its style, and what is
generally referred to as the "Original Basie Rhythm Section" still
serves as a model for many quartets today. It consisted of Basie on piano,
the wonderfully light yet propulsive guitar of Freddie Green, the pungent
bass of Walter Page, and the highly sensitive, ever swinging drums of
Jo Jones. After Jones left the band, the rhythm section never sounded
quite the same.
Basie said "I remember that she (Billie Holiday), Freddie Green,
and Lester Young were real buddies."