When I was in my 20s, I tried to pattern my life after Freddie Green. His playing makes you smile.
It also made you play, judging by the way Count Basie's band sounded all those years. I once heard the band without Freddie, who was sick.
Jim Hall - Jazz Guitar Master Class
Boy, did they miss him! That great Basie band was like a ship without the rudder.
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It just wasn't the same. Freddie once told me that his biggest joy was playing behind Lester Young, who returned the compliment by playing all of those classic solos with the Basie band. I sometimes have a fantasy that, if the tree of jazz were pruned down far enough, we'd be left just with Freddie Green strumming away and making you feel like playing and smiling.
I'll always regret that I didn't watch Freddie more closely or ask him more specific questions about his playing. I did ask Freddie once if he had any fatherly advice for me and he said "Yes, always pack your bag the night before and leave your uniform on top.
What I heard was something very simple and spacious: chord voicings that allowed the guitar to speak and yet not bump into other rhythm section instruments. For instance, a simple chord progression Bm7 - E7 - Am7 - D7 - G at a medium tempo might sound like this:.
Whether he was playing more notes, I can't say, but this was the effect and, with his magnificent time feeling, it was perfect. It allowed the bass plenty of room to move.
Jim Hall – Exploring Jazz Guitar
And Basie's piano playing never got in the way of anything. That's a subject for another whole book! For instance, a simple chord progression Bm7 - E7 - Am7 - D7 - G at a medium tempo might sound like this: Whether he was playing more notes, I can't say, but this was the effect and, with his magnificent time feeling, it was perfect.