Transcription: Kansas City Shout

Tune: Kansas City Shout
Composer: Ernie Wilkins
Transcription starts at 0'09"; ends at 0'46". Begins again at 1'28"; ends at 2'06".
From the album: Chairman of the Board
Leader of the session: Count Basie
Recorded: April 29, 1958; Chicago, Illinois USA
CD: Roulette Jazz 7243-5-81664-2-2

One of the best Basie albums available, "Chairman of the Board" was recorded in a manner that makes Freddie Green's guitar very audible. As an added bonus, Freddie was at the peak of his creative powers when this album was cut in 1958. Every student of the peerless Mr. Green must have this album!

This transcription perfectly illustrates his genius as a rhythm guitar player. By carefully using chord tones and a few non-chord tones, Freddie invents a counter melody to the walking bass line.

Note how he creates melodic interest in measure 2 by playing non-chord tones on beat 1 and beat 4, resolving each on the following beat. In measures 22 and 23, he momentarily abandons the quarter note pulse to play on the "and" of beat 4 and beat 1, forming a syncopated line that matches the melody played by the horns.

The majority of the notes are played on the 4th string. If an upper note is added, play the added note on the 3rd string. As always, the other strings are muted by the left hand but strummed to add texture to the one or two notes being clearly sounded.

Listen closely to hear Freddie play sustained octaves/chords at the following times: 2'09"; 2'12"; 2'14"; 2'19"; 2'21"; 2'38". Played in sync with the rhythm section, each pair of octaves/chords "answers" a phrase stated by the horns.

Refer to the Lessons and Technique section of this website for detailed explanations of Freddie's playing style.

Transcribed by Michael Pettersen
September 2003

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