Guitarist Jerry Carris of Jacksonville, Florida, provided this remarkable Freddie Green statement:

I met Freddie Green a couple of times, each time backstage after a Count Basie concert. I found Freddie to be about as low key as some of his chord voicings. I even got his autograph on the Rhythm Willie album he recorded for Concord with Herb Ellis.

I was introduced to Freddie by the piano player in the big band I played with at the time. His name was Lonnie Sloeppy (pronounced 'Slappy'), and he knew Freddie, Basie, and many of the other players in Basie's band.

The last time I saw Freddie was in the early 1980's; Basie was still alive at the time. I figured I probably wouldn't see Freddie again, so I pressed him a little about his playing style and he told me "I don't try to play those big 'concert' chords. I play just a couple of notes, sometimes just one, but it sets the sound of the chord. When you try to play those big chords, it can make the whole band drag."

Source: Email from Jerry Carris to Michael Pettersen; January 10, 2003

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