Freddie Green Recordings: A Selected Discography

Keep in mind that what is not played is often a more important musical contribution than what is played. - Doug Wamble

This alphabetical-by-title discography does not list every recording that features Freddie Green. Instead it lists recordings where Freddie's playing is relatively easy to hear.

Please send any additions you have for inclusion in this discography.

Title: Al Cohn, Joe Newman, & Freddie Green
CD Label: Mosaic Records
CD Number: MS-027
Recorded: 1955
Notes: Superb 3-disc box set containing RCA sessions originally released by Cohn, Newman, and Green (including Mr. Rhythm).

Title: April in Paris
Leader: Count Basie
CD Label: Verve
CD Number: 314 521 402-2
Recorded: 1955 - 1956
Notes: Perhaps the best Basie band and one of the best Basie recordings. Freddie is audible on nearly every track.

Title: Atomic Swing
Leader: Count Basie
CD Label: Roulette Jazz
CD Number: 7243 4 97871 2 4
Recorded: 1957 - 1962
Notes: Complilation of different recordings.

Title: Autumn in Paris
Leader: Count Basie
CD Label: Magic Compact Discs; owned by Submarine Records and Tapes
CD Number: DAWE 13
Recorded: 1957
Notes: Recorded live in Paris, the CD is a production of the Count Basie Society based in Middlesex, England. Freddie is very audible and the band is swinging. Get it!

Title: Basie In London
Leader: Count Basie
CD Label: Verve
CD Number: 833 805-2
Recorded: 1956
Notes: Actually recorded in Gothenburg, Sweden, not in London as the title implies.

Title: Basie Reunion
Leader: Paul Quinichette
LP Label:
LP Number:
CD Label: Prestige
CD Number: OJCCD-1049-2
Recorded: 1958

Title: Basie Straight Ahead
Leader: Count Basie
LP Label: Dot
LP Number: DLP-25902
CD Label: Chessmates
CD Number: GRD-822
Recorded: 1968

Title: Benny Goodman at Carnegie Hall - 1938 - Complete
Leader: Benny Goodman
CD Label: Columbia
CD Number: C2K 65143
Recorded: 1938
Notes: Freddie takes a rhythm solo on "Honeysuckle Rose". Freddie plays on only one of the twenty-five tracks, but this classic recording belongs in every jazz CD collection.

Title: The Boss of the Blues: Joe Turner Sings Kansas City Jazz
Leader: Joe Turner
CD Label: Atlantic Collectables
LP: Originally released as Atlantic 1234 in 1956
Recorded: 1956

Title: Brother John Sellers Sings Blues and Folk Songs
Leader: Brother John Sellers
CD Label: Vanguard
CD Number: 79036-2
Recorded: 1954
Notes: Though monaural, the recording quality of this session is superb. Brother John Sellers sings on all fifteen songs and has a wonderful voice. Freddie plays on six songs along with Sir Charles Thompson on piano, Walter Page on bass, Jo Jones on drums, and Ruby Braff on cornet. Freddie is clearly audible playing three note rhythm chords, four and five note sustained chords, and single note fills.

Here is a summary of each song on which Freddie plays:

"Two Little Fishes, Five Loaves of Bread" - Time: 2:58; Key: Eb; Tempo: quarter note = 88; Form: 12 bar blues; Players: Green, Thompson, Page, Jones; Accompaniment: Basie-style rhythm

"Boll Weevil" - Time: 3:40; Key: D; Tempo: quarter note = 82; Form: 2/4 blues with irregular verse length; the song has seven verses with the following number of measures - 21, 22, 21, 21, 23, 21, 20; Players: Green, Page, Jones; Accompaniment: Jones and Page play a simple 2/4 feel closely following Sellers because of the irregular verse length; Freddie plays chord and single note fills.

"John Henry" - Time: 3:10; Key: Ab; Tempo: quarter note = 216; Form: 20 bars; Players: Green, Thompson, Page, Jones; Accompaniment: Basie-style rhythm

"Farewell Work Life" - Time: 4:26; Key: Bb; Tempo: quarter note = 64; Form: 12 bar blues; Players: Green, Thompson, Page, Jones, Braff; Accompaniment: Basie-style rhythm

"Doretha Boogie" - Time: 2:45; Key: Bb; Tempo: quarter note = 206; Form: 12 bar blues; Players: Green, Thompson, Page, Jones, Braff; Accompaniment: boogie-woogie

"Down By The Riverside" - Time: 3:12; Key: G; Tempo: quarter note = 210; Form: 16 bars; Players: Green, Thompson, Page, Jones; Accompaniment: Basie-style rhythm

Title: Braff!!
Leader: Rueben "Ruby" Braff
LP Label: Epic
LP Number: LN3377
Recorded: 1956

This recording is comprised of three small ensemble jam sessions in the summer of 1956, led by the neo-dixieland trumpeter Ruby Braff. Steve Jordan played rhythm guitar for the first session (4 tunes). Freddie Green played the latter 2 sessions (8 tunes). Both guitarists are recorded very clearly, and contrast sharply in style.

A few months after the recording sessions, Braff expressed some opinions about rhythm players in a Down Beat article (January 9, 1957). Braff indicated how any one member of the rhythm section could, if he got out of hand, destroy the effectiveness of the unit. He also said that he likes a rhythm section without one instrument fighting another.

Just this sort of "fighting" is apparent on several occasions between guitarist Steve Jordan and pianist Dave McKenna during the first session. Jordan outright buries McKennaís solo in the final tune of that session: How Long Has This Been Going On? As Jordan strikes the strings harder and harder, McKenna, in turn, struggles for volume and ornamentation to outdo Jordan. During the peak if this power struggle, you can actually hear Braff mutter something that sounds disapproving. For the second session, two days later, he brought in a new guitarist and new pianist: Freddie Green and Nat Pierce, respectively. Braff was so pleased with the sound of the rhythm section, Freddie in particular, that he named the first tune "Hereís Freddie." Green and Pierce stayed on for third session as well, recorded about a month later.

Of course Iíve made a few conjectures here. Itís possible that Braff was perfectly happy with Jordan, and that his comments about rhythm section "fights" donít refer to McKenna vs. Jordan, specifically. At any rate, Freddie Green just plays so much better than Jordan on these recording. And this is coming from someone who really likes Steve Jordan.

Title: Chairman of the Board
Leader: Count Basie
LP Label: Roulette; originally on Emus
LP Number: R 52024
CD Label: Roulette
CD Number: 7243-5-81664-2-2
Recorded: 1958
Notes: Freddie is clearly audible as a microphone was placed quite close to his guitar. Frank Foster and Benny Powell both helped to identify the soloists for CD release.

Title: The Complete Clef/Verve Count Basie Fifties Studio Recordings
Leader: Count Basie
CD Label: Mosaic
CD Number: 229-MD-CD
Recorded: 1952 -1956
Notes: The original reel to reel tapes were the source for most of this superb reissue which contains 146 tracks on eight CDs, including seven previously-unreleased recordings and three alternates not in the vaults. Joe Williams' premiere recordings with the band are included, as are Basie classics like "April In Paris", "Corner Pocket", and "Shiny Stockings." Highly recommended.

Title: Count Basie and His Kansas City Seven
Leader: Count Basie
LP Label: Impulse
LP Number: A 15
Recorded: March 1962
Notes: Small group setting lets Freddie be heard clearly. This LP has been re-issued on CD: MCA Impulse MCAD-5656 JVC-457. From the liner notes by Stanley Dance: "Too little has been said here about Freddie Green, (bassist) Eddie Jones, and (drummer) Sonny Payne, but they play all the way for the band rather than themselves. There is a rare unity about their contribution, and an unfailing entente with the combination's leader and pianist. Basie and his guitarist, Freddie Green, are, of course, two of the most highly valued constants in the (jazz) field, and where rhythm is concerned they are among the supreme arbiters. They firmly favor good taste. Humor is permissable in their book, but never the loudly dramatic. They can-and do- push or lift a soloist when necessary, but they are almost unique in their ability to maintain an undercurrent of relaxation in the stormiest of situations."

Title: Count Basie and His Orchestra - En Concert avec Europe 1
Leader: Count Basie
CD Label: RTE
CD Number: 1504-2
Recorded: March 29,1960 and May 5,1962; a live recording from Paris at the Palais de Chaillot and the Olympia.
Notes: This two CD set was released in 1992. Freddie is audible when the band is playing quietly and when only the rhythm section is playing. The tune "Segue in C" is unique. During the first chorus, Freddie plays sustained four/five note chords; during the second chorus he changes to his typical one/two note rhythm chords. This track is a superb example of the aural difference between commonplace four/five note chord voicings and Freddie's unique one/two note chord voicings.

Title: Count Basie at Birdland 1956
Leader: Count Basie
LP Label:
LP Number:
CD Label: Jazz Unlimited
CD Number: JUCD 2028
Recorded: 1956
Notes: Freddie is very audible on some cuts, and not on other cuts. The audio quality varies throughout this live recording.

Title: Count Basie Jazz Masters 2
Leader: Count Basie
CD Label: Verve
CD Number: 314 519 819-2
Recorded: 1952 - 1963
Notes: Compilation from different recordings.

Title: Count Basie - Ken Burns Jazz
Leader: Count Basie
CD Label: Verve
CD Number: 314 549 090-2
Recorded: 1932 - 1957
Notes: Complilation of different recordings.

Title: Count Basie Swings, Joe Williams Sings
Leader: Count Basie
LP Label: Clef
LP Number: MG C-678
CD Label: Verve
CD Number: 314 519 852-2
Recorded: 1955
Notes: Freddie is very audible on the tune "The Comeback".

Title: Count Basie - The Big Band Leader
Leader: Count Basie
CD Label: Past Perfect
CD Number: 204540
Recorded: 1939 - 1951
Notes: This 10 CD collection has many rare Basie recordings, plus is a bargain at $50 (USD). Freddie is audible on many of the cuts, though not all.

Title: Count Basie - Volume One - Featuring Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson
Leader: Count Basie
CD Label: Malaco Jazz Classics (
CD Number: MJD1203
Recorded: April 17, 1972; a live recording from the Salle Pleyel in Paris
Notes: Released in 1998, this CD is a wealth of information about Freddie's style when playing with the Basie Band. Freddie was close-miked on this live recording. On track 10, "Cherry Point", and track 12, "I Need To Be Bee'd With", there are extended sections of just the rhythm section, and Freddie's chord voicings and right hand attacks are very apparent. The guitar microphone was so close it reveals that Freddie was playing his Gretsch El Dorado and not his Stromberg: the tone is not nearly rich enough to be the Stromberg.

Title: Cute
Leader: Count Basie
CD Label: Jazz Time
CD Number: JTM 8110
Recorded: 1959
Notes: This CD is the audio portion of a video recorded in Zurich, Switzerland (See Resources Page). Freddie is featured on the introduction to "Cute". This introduction was transcribed by L.H. Dickert for his PhD dissertation on Freddie Green, and independently by Michael Pettersen for his Down Beat article on Freddie Green. Interestingly, the transcriptions are not identical (See Transcriptions Page). During the "Cute" introduction, a band member is chanting "What you say last night 'bout Freddie Green?". Read more about this in a series of entries on the Visitor Comments page.

Title: Echoes of an Era
Leader: Count Basie
LP Label: Roulette
LP Number: RE-102
Recorded: 1957-1962

Album: Farmers Market Barbecue
Leader: Count Basie
Recorded: 1982
Producer and liner notes: Norman Granz
CD: Pablo OJCCD-732-2

This CD is a reissue of a very well recorded and produced LP from late in Freddie's career. It includes, as far as we know, Freddie's last original composition, called "I Don't Know Yet," which is a very typical mid-tempo, cheerful Freddie Green tune. The rest of the cuts are blues oriented, for the most part, and played in a bit more low-down gritty style than what is typical of Basie's later sound. The ensemble is a smaller big-band in which Freddie can be heard very clearly doing what he does best. Norman Granz explains in the liner notes that the main reason for the recording session was that "Freddie Green had written a number and wanted to see how it sounded."

Title: Fiesta in Blue
Leader: Buck Clayton
CD Label: Past Perfect
CD Number: 205732-203
Recorded: 1938 - 1945
Notes: The reticent Mr. Green sings! "Them There Eyes", recorded September 8, 1938, features Freddie as the vocalist. Though not in the league of Joe Williams, Freddie turns in a satisfactory performance influenced by Louis Armstrong's singing style. Freddie also plays rhythm on fourteen tunes, but his guitar is not easy to hear.

Title: For Basie
Leader: Paul Quinichette
CD Label: Prestige
CD Number: OJCCD-978-2
Recorded: 1957

Title: Fun Time
Leader: Count Basie
CD Label: Pablo
CD Number: PACD-2310-945-2
Recorded: 1975
Notes: A live recording made in Montreux, Switzerland.

Title: Get Together, Basie & The Kansas City 8
Leader:Count Basie
CD Label: Pablo
CD Number: PACD-2310-924-2
Recorded: Las Vegas, September 4, 1979

Album: Jazz Basie Style
Leaders: Joe Newman/Sir Charles Thompson
Recorded: 1954
LP: Vanguard VRS 8527
Notes: This LP combines "left-over"tracks from two completely unrelated recording sessions --Side one has four tunes by Joe Newman and His Band, while Side 2 has four tunes by the Sir Charles Thompson Quartet. Freddie Green appears only on Side 2, where he joins fellow Basie veterans Walter Page and Jo Jones. These three accompany Sir Charles on four brilliantly done jazz standards: Swingtime In the Rockies, Honeysuckle Rose, These Foolish Things, and Sweet Georgia Brown. Freddie is very audible throughout all four tunes.

Title: Jazz For Playboys
Leader: Frank Wess
CD Label: Savoy
CD Number: 92982-2
LP Label: Savoy
LP Number: MG-12095
Recorded: June 1956, December 1956, and January 1957
Notes: This recording is similar in musical style to the "Opus In Swing" and "Monday Stroll" recordings. These sessions were recorded by Rudy Van Gelder in his Hackensack, NJ living room.

Title: Hall of Fame
Leader: Count Basie
LP Label: Verve
LP Number: MG V-8291
Recorded: 1959

Title: Long Live the Chief, The Count Basie Orchestra
Leader: Frank Foster
CD Label: Denon
CD Number: CY-1018
Recorded: 1986

Title: Memories Ad Lib
Leaders: Joe Williams and Count Basie
LP Label: Roulette
LP Number: R 52021
Recorded: 1959
Notes: Freddie plays several short solos. Basie plays organ.

Title: Monday Stroll
Leader: Kenny Burrell
LP Label: Savoy
LP Number: MG 12085
CD Label: Savoy Jazz
CD Number: SV-0246
Recorded: 1956 - 1957
Notes: Same recording as "Opus in Swing". This CD has two additional cuts.

Title: Mr. Swing
Leader: Harry Edison
LP Label: Verve
LP Number: MG VS-6037 and MG V-8353
CD Label: Verve
CD Number: 314 559 868-2
Recorded: 1958
Notes: Originally released as two LPs: "The Swinger" MG VS-6037; "Mr. Swing" MG V-8353

Title: Natural Rhythm
Leaders: Freddie Green and Al Cohn
LP Label: Bluebird
LP Number: LPM-1210 and LPM-1116
CD Label: RCA
CD Number: 6465-2-RB
Notes: Originally released as two LPs: "Mr. Rhythm" LPM-1210; "The Natural Seven" LPM-1116
Read the liner notes from a French Reissue of this recording.

Title: Opus In Swing
Leader: Frank Wess
LP Label: Savoy
LP Number: MG 12085
CD Label: Savoy
CD Number: COCB-50298
Recorded: 1956 - 1957
Notes: Same recording as "Monday Stroll".

Title: Rhythm Willie
Leaders: Freddie Green and Herb Ellis
LP Label: Concord
LP Number: CJ-10
Recorded: 1975

Title: Sinatra at the Sands
Leaders: Frank Sinatra and Count Basie
CD Label: Reprise
CD Number: 1019-2
Recorded: 1966
Notes: Freddie can be heard on the right channel of this live recording.

Title: Sinatra-Basie
Leaders: Frank Sinatra and Count Basie
LP Label: Reprise
LP Number: R9-1008
Recorded: 1962

Title: Sixteen Men Swinging
Leader: Count Basie
LP Label: Verve
LP Number: VE-2-2517
Recorded: December 1953 and June 1954
Notes: This recording features the second Basie big band that was organized in November 1952 after Basie broke up his first big band in 1950. Though a monaural recording, Freddie is easy to hear on most tunes. One Freddie-friendly tune is called "Rails", written by Gillespie and Harding. This same tune is also on the recording "Basie in London", but is called "Nails". It is not known which title is correct. The introduction of "Nails" is available in the Transcriptions section.

Title: Super Bass
Leader: Ray Brown
CD Label: Capri Records
CD Number: 74018-2
Recorded: 1987
Notes: One of the last recordings by Freddie Green, this CD is important because Freddie is very audible and very well recorded. The tune "One Arm Bandit" has been transcribed and may be viewed on our transcription page. The CD may be ordered directly from Capri Records at:

Title: Swing Trumpet Kings
Leaders: Harry Edison, Buck Clayton, Red Allen, & Roy Eldridge
Label: Verve
CD Number: 314 533 263-2

This double CD includes reissues of three LPs by Edison/Clayton, Allen, and Eldridge, respectively. Freddie Green plays on the Edison/Clayton LP, Harry Edison Swings Buck Clayton and Vice Versa, recorded in 1958. The interesting thing is that Freddie Green is listed as the sole guitarist for all 7 tracks. This is clearly a mistake. It is fairly certain that Steve Jordan actually played on 4 of the 7 tracks. Jordan and Green were known to fill in for one another during studio sessions.

The significance of this recording is that it provides a direct comparison of Freddie Greenís approach to that of Steve Jordan (or at least someone who sounds and plays exactly like Steve Jordan) on the very same tune, recorded under identical conditions. Specifically, there are 2 takes of Memories of the Count, tracks 1 and 7 respectively. Steve Jordan plays on track 1 and Freddie Green plays on track 7. The contrast between these two players is striking. Freddie Green uses his typical styleópredominantly one- and two-note chords, with tenor voice-leading on the 4th string, and chord changes that move directly from chord to chord. Steve Jordan, on the other hand, uses full 3 and 4-note chords, and abundant passing/approaching chords.

With some irony, then, this recording gives us Steve Jordan playing exactly what many jazz guitarists and musicians have mischaracterized as the "Freddie Green" style. The contrast between this and the genuine Freddie Green, playing the way he actually played, makes a clear pedagogical point.

Title: The Vice-Pres
Leader: Paul Quinichette
LP Label: EmArcy
LP Number: MG 36027 and MG 26035
CD Label: Verve
CD Number: 314 543 750-2
Recorded: 1951 - 1954
Notes: Originally released as two LPs: "The Vice-Pres" MG 36027; "Sequel" MG 26035

Title: World's Greatest Music Series - "Pop" Jazz
Leader: Count Basie
LP Label: Artia-Parliment Industries
LP Number: SJJC-52065
Recorded: 1950's
Notes: From the catalog of Roulette Records, Birdland Series, this 11 track LP is part of a five LP set. The other four LPs are not by Basie.

Here's an on-line discography for Count Basie:

This is a link to another discography that shows covers for many of the recordings mentioned here:

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