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Friday, April 8, 2011

The Complete Charlie Christian Vol. 6.....1940-41

The Complete Charlie Christian Vol. 6...........years 1940-41

Volume 6 proceeds with the December 19, 1940 session and goes on through to February 5, 1941.

Remainder of the studio session from December 19:

*   “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love”     all 3 takes    (-1, -3, -2)
Each take has an excellent CC 16-bar solo.
*   “Gone With What Draft”     3 takes   (-3 thru -1)
Missing is a breakdown that includes the cadenza on which CC solos, but it’s no substantial loss;  his solo on this tune is “written”—sounds great, but it’s the same on all takes.
[The breakdown was released in its entirety in October 2001 on Masters of Jazz MJCD 189, Charlie Christian • Volume 9.]

The tune is based on “Honeysuckle Rose” chord changes with a 12-bar cadenza added in the middle.  The cadenza is actually a direct adaptation of Eddie Durham’s 12-bar intro with Jimmy Lunceford & His Orchestra on “Avalon” with was recorded for Decca on September 30, 1935.   “GWWD” was retitled “Gilly” around 1950.

Then the January 15, 1941 studio session with the sextet and another go at:

*   “Breakfast Feud”     all 4 takes,  but...
The 3rd take is truncated at both ends—it contains only the 4-bar refrain, the 8+12-bar CC solo, then fades out on the subsequent refrain.
The 4th take is also incomplete; it fades out on the refrain after CC’s solo.
[The complete 3rd and 4th takes have been issued only on Jazz Unlimited JUCD 2013, The Rehearsal Sessions (in 1993).]
[Both takes were reissued in their entirety in October 2001 on Masters of Jazz MJCD 189, Charlie Christian • Volume 9.]
“Breakfast Feud” has to be the most spliced up tune in recorded history!  From two to five of CC’s solos have been gleaned from this and the December 19 session and spliced together in about a dozen different combinations and, more often than not, issued that way on LP and CD.  At least here they’re only shortened and not spliced which could have caused even more confusion.  The 2nd take from this session was the one that came out on the original Columbia 78-rpm record (none of the takes from the December 19 were originally released on 78).

The January 15th session continues:

*   “On the Alamo”     the only known take
Another 8-bar gem by CC on his solo—very relaxed and melodic.
*   “I Found a New Baby”     both takes
First time on CD for take -2.
Exceptional CC solos on each, some of his best work with the sextet, especially take -1.

*   “Gone With What Draft”     3 takes   (-3 thru -1)      [An additional breakdown is said to exist]

The second year that Charles’ records with the Metronome All Star Band (winners of the annual Metronome magazine Jazz Poll)—on January 16 for Victor:

*   “One O’Clock Jump”   (aka “All Star Jump”)
A 12-bar CC blues solo

Then comes the renowned “Profoundly Blue” all-blues session with the Edmond Hall Celeste Quartet recorded for Blue Note on February 5, 1941...on which CC plays unamplified guitar:

*   “Jammin’ In Four”
Five consecutive solo choruses of fast blues by CC featuring the fewest rests he ever took on record!
*   “Edmond Hall Blues”
No solos, but CC is prominent playing rhythm.
*   “Profoundly Blue”     both takes
CC’s four-bar intros followed by his three-chorus solos on each take of this very slow blues are the highlights of the session.  They are virtually duets with the much underrated bassist Israel Crosby, who is outstanding on the entire outing.
The solos on both takes are a real joy to play on the guitar along with CC’s solo on “Paging the Devil” (from the 1939 Christmas Eve From Spirituals to Swing Carnegie Hall concert) which is another exceptional Eb blues.
*   “Celestial Express”
Again no solos;  this time however, Charles can be heard playing 24 bars of impeccable boogie riffs on each of two solos by clarinetist Hall.
The interplay of Christian and Crosby, both in rhythm and duet, is what makes this session so memorable.  Hall is also at his best.  Although Meade Lux Lewis has some good solos, his celeste is often distracting—it should have been toned down some.

There may exist a recording from the time period covered by volume 6 that is not included here:  a December 25, 1940 sextet aircheck of “Wholly Cats.”

Track list:
01 - I Can't Give You Anything But Love
02 - I Can't Give You Anything But Love
03 - I Can't Give You Anything But Love
04 - Gone With What Draft
05 - Gone With What Draft
06 - Gone With What Draft
07 - Breakfast Feud
08 - Breakfast Feud
09 - Breakfast Feud
10 - Breakfast Feud
11 - On The Alamo
12 - I Found A New Baby
13 - I Found A New Baby
14 - Gone With What Draft
15 - Gone With What Draft
16 - Gone With What Draft
17 - One O'Clock Jump
18 - Jamming In Four
19 - Edmond Hall Blues
20 - Profoundly Blue
21 - Profoundly Blue
22 - Celestial Express