Transcription: I'll Always Be In Love With You

Composers: Harry Ruby, Bud Green, Sam Stept
Transcription: starts at 0'07"; ends at 0'57"
From the album: Count Basie At The Savoy Ballroom
Label: Everest Records FS318
Leader of the session: Count Basie
Recorded: June 30, 1937
Reissued on CD in 1993: Masters of Jazz MLCD-1948

Freddie Green joined the Count Basie Orchestra in March 1937. This recording was made three months later. Freddie's guitar style in 1937 bore little resemblance to the unique minimalist style he would create over the next decades.

This transcription clearly illustrates how Freddie's guitar style early in his career was deeply influenced by his background as a banjo player. Note that the majority of the voicings are four notes, like a banjo, and are played between the 1st and 5th fret. Freddie's right hand technique is also very "four-square" and banjo-like, producing a ponderous sound reminiscent of Joseph Reinhardt's playing with the Hot Club Quintet of France.

Items of interest:

  • Measures 4/5, 19/20, 25, 28/29: Note the 1/2 step approaches (from above or below) using the same voicing. This is a banjo techinque.

  • Measures 6, 14, 30: Note the movement created by playing different inversions of the G7 chord, or by substituting Dm for G7, i.e., the ii for V substitution. This is another banjo technique.

  • Measure 8: Note the technique of adding a new note to the voicing by keeping the same fingering but sounding a note that was previously muted. Later in his career, Freddie would employ this concept as a cornerstone of his style.

  • Measure 9, 15,16, 19, 23, 25, 31: This elementary C6 voicing has a banjo-like quality and is easy to play on guitar. It is a voicing that Freddie would virtually abandon as his style became more sophisticated.

  • Measure 24: Note the very modern (for the time) G13 voicing, a Charlie Christian favorite, that would later become Freddie's signature opening arpeggio on Neal Hefti's Li'l Darlin'.

  • Finally, observe the complete absences of notes played on the sixth string. It is likely that veteran bassist Walter Page had already sternly instructed the young Freddie Green not to play notes within the tessitura of his bass lines!

Transcribed by Michael Pettersen, February 2003
Many thanks to drummer Hal Smith for bringing this important recording to my attention.

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