Freddie Green Style: Other Resources
Swing and Big Band Guitar: Four-to-the-Bar Comping in the Style of
Many players agree that this is the definitive manual for learning the essential voicings and approach for big band rhythm guitar.
Rhythm Guitar the Ranger Doug Way
Ranger Doug Green of Riders In The Sky is a superb rhythm guitarist, a scholar, and a gentleman. A leading authority on the history of Cowboy and Western music, he is also a historian of swing rhythm guitar and of vintage Stromberg guitars. Ranger Doug's book is divided into two parts. The opening section of the book covers the history of rhythm guitar, rhythm guitar theory, right hand use, chord forms, archtop guitars, and additional resources about rhythm guitar technique. The concluding section contains 27 tunes, including jazz standards, Western swing standards, and even a polka. Each tune is a transcription of Ranger Doug's typical chord voicings. Highly recommended.
Freddie Green: A Musical Analysis of the Guitar in the Count Basie Rhythm Section
"An Analysis of Freddie Green's Style and His Importance in the
History of Jazz Guitar"
Basic Jazz Rhythm Guitar: Comping in the Freddie Green Style
The description from the Mel Bay web site reads: "Every jazz guitarist needs to be familiar with the accompaniment style of Freddie Green. Freddie Green was the guitarist for the Count Basie orchestra for decades and his sound and comping technique were defining aspects of this legendary group. Four-to-the-bar strumming, essential chord voicings and voice leading ideas are covered in this informative DVD and accompanying chart. A must have for any aspiring rhythm guitarist."
Michael Pettersen comments: Based on the excerpts posted on the Mel Bay web site, this DVD appears to be yet another publication that claims Freddie Green primarily used three note chord voicings. While I agree that the three note voicings documented on this DVD are important for every rhythm guitarist, these voicings do not accurately document the rhythm guitar technique of Freddie Green. My criticism is that the publication title "Comping in the Freddie Green Style" perpetuates the myth that Freddie Green primarily employed standard three note voicings on strings 6, 4, and 3. It is misleading to purport that three note voicings allow one to comp in the style of Freddie Green. If this DVD had been entitled "Basic Jazz Rhythm Guitar: Comping using Three Note Voicings", I would not have written this critique.
I contacted the author, Corey Christiansen, via email. He was unaware of the Freddie Green website and consequently was not cognizant of the site's numerous resources before the making of this DVD primer.
Please refer to the Lessons and Techniques section of this website to find numerous technical articles and transcriptions of Freddie's voicings.
"Ray Benson: Western Swing Guitar"
"Ranger Doug Rides The Rhythm Range"
"Ranger" Doug Green is the superb rhythm guitarist with the western swing band Riders In The Sky. This informal, yet very informative, instructional video tape is highly recommended. Ranger Doug covers fundamental left hand chord voicings and right hand strumming techniques. He also clearly demonstrates essential left hand muting techniques required for playing swing rhythm guitar.
My only criticism is that the included printed chord charts have five errors:
And for us Freddie Green fans, Ranger Doug plays a Stromberg archtop guitar similar to Freddie's. This video tape provides the rare opportunity to closely observe and learn from an extraordinary rhythm guitarist. - Michael Pettersen
"Count Basie: Live in '62"
"Count Basie - Swingin' The Blues"
"Count Basie - Live in Berlin 1968"
"Count Basie - In Concert Zurich 1959, Newport 1961"
"Count Basie - Ralph Gleason's Jazz Casual"
This video was first aired on May 6, 1966 and features Count Basie playing in a quartet with Freddie Green, Norman Keenan (bass), and Sonny Payne (drums). Eight tunes are played that total 16' 55". The remaining time consists of conversation between Basie and host Ralph Gleason. The liner notes state "As always, the heartbeat of the Basie organization, Freddie Green, is by his (Basie's) side." This is perhaps the best video to study Freddie's technique. Not only can his guitar be heard easily, but there are many shots where his right hand and his left hand are clearly seen. Highly recommended.
Count Basie and his Orchestra: Whirly-bird
This black and white video was recorded in London, England, on September 18, 1965. It documents a swinging live peformance by the Basie band that took place in a television studio. The ten tunes on this video are: All Of Me; Flight Of The Foo Birds; The Midnight Sun Never Sets; Blues For Jean; Jumpin' At The Woodside; I Needs To Be Bee'd With; April In Paris; Li'l Darlin'; Whirly-bird; One O'Clock Jump. Freddie is seated in front of the drums and can be clearly seen during most of the video, though his guitar parts are not audible enough to be transcribed. This video is highly recommended for anyone that never experienced the Basie band in person.
"Diane Schuur and the Count Basie Orchestra"
The Judy Garland Show - Vol. 2
In the 1990's, video tapes of the Judy Garland Show were discovered in the basement of an elderly woman. Performing with Judy Garland on this DVD are Count Basie and his Orchestra, as well as Mel Torme, Lena Horne, Terry Thomas, Judy Henske, and Jerry Van Dyke. There are several short clips of Freddie Green playing throughout the show. Freddie is more audible on some songs than others.
"The Seven Lively Arts presents The Sound of Jazz"
This black and white television program was recorded in New York, on Sunday, December 8, 1957. It documents a live peformance by leading jazz performers of the time. Freddie Green plays in the Count Basie All-Star Orchestra consisting of then current Basie players, Basie alumni, and other jazz stars of 1957. This band plays three arrangements: "Open All Night"; "I Left My Baby" (with singer Jimmy Rushing); and "Dickie's Dream". There are brief sections where the camera focuses solely on Freddie, and several other sections where he can be seen playing in the background. His guitar is always audible and there are short segments clear enough to be transcribed.
The other portions on this video are also interesting: a performance by the Thelonious Monk Trio; a performance by Billie Holiday backed by a band that includes Lester Young; a performance by the Jimmy Guiffre Trio with a young Jim Hall on guitar; and guitarist Danny Barker plays on four tunes providing an instructive comparision of his rhythm guitar technique to Freddie's.
If you have any comments about any of the resources