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 Post subject: Freddie Green
PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 2:16 am 
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I've been reading a lot lately, and gathering some questions on ... loads of aspects of music.

One is about Freddie Green - and the fact that he played virtually no solos, for all his amazing talent, and there's an intriguing tale in Jazz Anecdotes about why that might have been.

The question is - what Freddie Green solos are there? I've found this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVwB7_CS6rk&t=4m30s - but anyone know any others?


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 Post subject: Re: Freddie Green
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:49 am 
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At the 1938 Benny Goodman Carnegie Hall concert, Benny unexpectedly pointed to Freddie to solo. You can hear him take the solo at around the 12 minute mark.

(Note that most releases of the concert before the 1999 remaster edited this bit out. Look for the 16:35 minute version.)

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 Post subject: Re: Freddie Green
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:47 am 
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Thanks got it. That's really handy.

Presumably that's Mr Krupa banging away behind him - any more solos where it's just Basie's rhythm section behind him? I read an intriguing story that the rhythm section used to fall apart when he took solos, so members of the band took it upon themselves to sabotage his gear - and basically put an end to his soloing ambitions, which seemed ... harsh. I was wondering if any incidents like that made it into available recordings (I'm guessing that any such recordings would probably not have been released, but I thought it worth asking)


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 Post subject: Re: Freddie Green
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:08 pm 
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Haven't heard of that one. I'd say its unlikely.

I've read that rhythm guitars were set up in a way that made it unsuitable for them to solo anyway.

And yes, that's Krupa on drums. Bet he felt like a fraud that day.

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 Post subject: Re: Freddie Green
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:53 am 
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trev wrote:
that's Krupa on drums. Bet he felt like a fraud that day.


How come?

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 Post subject: Re: Freddie Green
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 6:48 pm 
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Eyeball wrote:
trev wrote:
that's Krupa on drums. Bet he felt like a fraud that day.


How come?


Substituting for Jo Jones in the great Basie rhythm section with Freddie Green and Walter Page. Krupa may have had all the fame as the legendary drummer showman from the Goodman Orchestra but I bet he knew what the real score was.

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 Post subject: Re: Freddie Green
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:13 pm 
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trev wrote:
Eyeball wrote:
trev wrote:
that's Krupa on drums. Bet he felt like a fraud that day.


How come?


Substituting for Jo Jones in the great Basie rhythm section with Freddie Green and Walter Page. Krupa may have had all the fame as the legendary drummer showman from the Goodman Orchestra but I bet he knew what the real score was.


I didn't recall that it was 3/4 Basie men and 1/4 Krupa. BUT - you really seem to be slighting Krupa unnecessarily.
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but I bet he knew what the real score was.
That's a real low knock as if Krupa was a shoemaker or something. Do you really feel that Krupa was miles behind Jo Jones??

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 Post subject: Re: Freddie Green
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:37 pm 
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The Basie rhythm section was widely regarded as this perfect, cohesive swinging unit. Jo Jones (and Green, Page and Basie) had honed their roles as parts of a machine that was greater than the sum of its parts. I'm sure Krupa would have been apprehensive about breaking up that team by placing himself in it.

I'm not saying that Krupa was "miles" behind the others, indeed he was one of the great drummers of the Swing Era. I just think he was generally a bit too showy. Guys like Jones, Catlett, Greer and Webb were not only skilful, they were innovators and better at backing off for the benefit of swing. I've read that Krupa revered them.

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 Post subject: Re: Freddie Green
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 3:29 am 
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trev wrote:
Haven't heard of that one. I'd say its unlikely.

I've read that rhythm guitars were set up in a way that made it unsuitable for them to solo anyway.

The story came from Jazz Anecdotes, and was told by Harry Edison. Unfortunately, it doesn't give any dates, but does say that Freddie had an amplified guitar and an amp (given to him by Charlie Christian). Edison, Herschel Evans and Prez would take it in turns to sabotage the amp.


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 Post subject: Re: Freddie Green
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 3:36 am 
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trev wrote:
The Basie rhythm section was widely regarded as this perfect, cohesive swinging unit. Jo Jones (and Green, Page and Basie) had honed their roles as parts of a machine that was greater than the sum of its parts. I'm sure Krupa would have been apprehensive about breaking up that team by placing himself in it.

I'm not saying that Krupa was "miles" behind the others, indeed he was one of the great drummers of the Swing Era. I just think he was generally a bit too showy. Guys like Jones, Catlett, Greer and Webb were not only skilful, they were innovators and better at backing off for the benefit of swing. I've read that Krupa revered them.


The whole Basie rhythm team was there - in that same track, you get that wonderful contrast in styles at around 7:20 (right after Johnny Hodges) where Basie's rhythm section takes a turn - and Krupa shuts up. Then he comes back in around 90 seconds later to resume drowning out half the subtleties :)


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