One O'clock Jump: A Comparison of Three Recordings

by Mark Allen

One O'clock Jump is a 12-bar blues that is the anthem of the Count Basie band. By the late 1950's Freddie Green had played One O'clock Jump thousands of times. It seems reasonable that Freddie Green would play this tune in a variety of ways in order to reduce the tedium of countless performances. These transcriptions document the opening 24 measures of three One O'clock Jump recordings. Two were recorded in succession on June 27, 1956; the third EP (Extended Play) version was recorded in April 1957.

The primary purpose of these transcriptions is to illustrate several examples of the most common note choices that Freddie Green used while playing the blues. These three recordings are not identical. Each illustrates slightly different Freddie Green's voicing choices for blues accompaniment. He typically plays simpler in the first 12 bars, then uses more melodic motion and passing tones in the second 12 bars.

These recordings also demonstrate principles of the Dynamic Chord- Muted Notes approach, which I have outlined in articles on this site. Specifically, Freddie makes different choices about the addition of 3rd string notes depending on the recording take. Also, he occasionally plays fully muted chords, which I have dubbed 0-note chords in my articles, on weak beats.
The transcriptions begin on measure 7 for the first two recordings, and on measure 5 for the third recording, a condensed EP version. The measures are numbered beginning with "1" for all the transcriptions in order to facilitate comparisons between recordings.

Song Title: One O'clock Jump
Composer: Count Basie
CD Title: One O'clock Jump
Leaders: Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Joe Williams
Recorded: June 1956 and April 1957
CD Number: 314 559 806-2
Label: Verve

Transcribed by Mark Allen. December, 2002
Reviewed and edited by Michael Pettersen

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