DB Hall of Fame

SOLO  FLIGHT

THE  CHARLIE  CHRISTIAN  LEGACY

DB Hall of Fame


 

ANNOUNCEMENTS, NEWS & UPDATES
 



Home ]

[ News/Updates ] Solography ] Discography ] Chronology ] Photo Gallery ] Transcriptions ] Bibliographies ] CD Reviews ] Book-Video Reviews ] SplicedTracks ] Links ]

 



 



August 6, 2017

The transcription of Charlie Christian’s solo and interlude on the completed version of “Untitled Tune” is up:

Go to  “Untitled Tune”  (completed take)  transcription page

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page

See also  “Untitled Tune”  (breakdown)  transcription page

 


 



July 29, 2017

101st anniversary of Charlie Christian’s birth

 

also:  The recordings of the Sheik foursome have been reassessed digitally and the transcriptions are updated.   see  Transcriptions

 


 



July 1, 2017
Downs Bibliography update:

Yasushi Kubokis second CC book was released by Ritter Music (Tokyo) on 16 September 2016:

The Legend of Charlie Christian

Contains transcriptions, all with guitar tablature, of eight CC solos;  musical analysis of solos;  solography;  plus five other chapters.

Text in Japanese

The Legend of Charlie Christian
by Yasushi Kuboki
softcover with CD
Ritter Music
ISBN:  9784845628599
 

Go to  Solos Bibliography section.      [ Scroll down to Kuboki (2016) ]

Go to  Musical Analysis Bibliography      [ Scroll down to Kuboki ]

 

nota bene:  The transcriptions of both takes of I Surrender, Dear have been re-done.   see  Transcriptions

 


 



June 19, 2017

The two takes of Charlie Christian’s winsome solos on As Long as I Live are now on site:

Go to  “As Long as I Live”  (master)  transcription page

Go to  “As Long as I Live”  (alt. take)  transcription page

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page

 


 



May 12, 2017

Grand Slam was released, as Boy Meets Goy (on a couple of issues it was later titled Boy Meets Girl), on 78-rpm the month following its recording.  Through the years, it has been reissued frequently, by far most often by its more suitable title.  However, the alternate take remained in Columbia’s vaults (now Sony’s) for 62 years before it was issued in the 4-CD “Gibson guitar amp” box set – so far it’s been released only on this set or its one reissue.  Now, 15 years after its box-set release, the transcription of the much neglected edition is finally being added to this site.  We present the documented Grand Slam, take A:

Go to  “Grand Slam”  (alt. take)  transcription page

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page

 

The master take of Grand Slam has also been digitally reviewed and the transcript was given an up-date
(Chip Henderson has also transcribed and published both takes – see the Clive Downs Solos Bibliography)

 




May 6, 2017

A couple of years ago, Joe Weidlich published an appealing book entitled

Trading Licks:  Charlie Christian & T-Bone Walker

analyzing the musical commonality of the electric jazz guitarist and the electric blues guitarist.  Charted examples are provided.  Included are over a dozen transcriptions – some complete, some are just riffs, all with tab – of CC’s solos.  A CD with 83 selected audio examples is also included.
Attractive, interesting, and enjoyable.

Trading Licks:  Charlie Christian & T-Bone Walker
by Joseph Weidlich
116-page softcover with CD
Centerstream Publications  ($24.99)
ISBN:  978-1-57424-314-7
UPC:  8 88680 05936 1
 

Go to  Musical Analysis Bibliography      [ Scroll down to Weidlich ]

Go to  Solos Bibliography section.      [ Scroll down to Weidlich ]

 


 

 



April 25, 2017

Tea for Two at The Harlem Breakfast Club

Initially transcribed 36 years ago from tape taken from Jerry Newhouse’s original recordings using archaic playback equipment of the time, Charles’ intro and solo on Tea for Two have now been revised by an substantially more experienced transcriber and re-posted to this site.  The recently issued Uptown “Electric” CD was used along with current audio software for the revised edition.  Unfortunately, Uptown has been “cleaned up” to such a digital extreme that the Masters of Jazz (volume 9) CD had to also be referenced to make sense of some of the solo passages.  The MoJ disc sounds much like Jerry’s original.  Both CD’s are somewhat high pitched, by the way.

Go to  “Tea for Two”  transcription page

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page

 


 

 

April 17, 2017
 

Charlie Christian’s Flying Home was about to become one of most popular and most recorded tune in the sextet’s repertoire.  The first time it was recorded was at The Hollywood Bowl on the the first “Camel Caravan” radio program Charles had participated in after joining the sextet.  This second recording of the tune was taken three weeks later on another of the “Camel Caravan” weekly radio broadcasts – this time performed in a radio studio in Manhattan during a break from an unrecorded week-long gig at the memorable 1939 New York World’s Fair.

A transcription of Charles’ second Flying Home solo is here:
 

Go to  “Flying Home”  (9 Sep 1939)  transcription page

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page 

 

 


 

 

April 16, 2017
 

CHARLES CHRISTIAN DEBUTS AT THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL

Only three days after his audition, Charlie Christian found himself sitting in the limelight at the legendary amphitheater up in the Hollywood Hills with the famous sign looming behind and a huge audience in front of him.  The sextet had supplanted the band on stage and was about to perform the guitarist’s own composition, Flying Home, on the air.  One can only speculate as to whatever anxiety the unassuming young man may have felt on his first formal gig in the “big time” but if there had been any trepidation present it must have vanished at the sound of the first note of music.  Charles was an absolute marvel – the consummate musician in complete command of his domain.

A transcription of Charles’ first recorded solo is presented here:
 

Go to  “Flying Home”  (19 Aug 1939)  transcription page

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page 

 

 


 

 

March 17, 2017
 

Another tune from the “America in Swingtime” program broadcast by WNYC on February 19, 1941 was Flying Home which followed immediately after the Rose Room fragment that I added to the transcription pages three months ago.  This version of Flying Home contains five choruses instead of the usual four and has never been released in any format.

Charles was in exceptional form at this radio studio American Music Festival session and takes a brilliant full-chorus solo, one of the best on this oft-recorded sextet piece.
 

Go to  “Flying Home”  (19 Feb 1941)  transcription page

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page 

 

 


 

 

February 25, 2017
 

The five-page transcription of the epical Rose Room studio jam from 13 March 1941 has been revised.  The standard notation has only been changed in a couple of places – the fingering has been adjusted in several places on each page.  The original transcription had been initially taken from vinyl about thirty-five years ago.  Obviously much has changed in recording and playback technology since then.

Nothing compares to listening to a Charlie Christian solo on a 78-rpm record but when it comes to transcribing a solo you just cant beat digital.  Even though the warmth and true sonority of the analog music is lost, almost all the clicks, hiss, and crackle have been eliminated by taking the master straight to digital format.

Playback manipulation is where the huge advantage comes in though.  Gone are the days when, if you wanted to listen closely to a passage at a reduced speed, the only realistic option was cutting the speed in half but having to also lower the pitch an octave.  Thats how the previously uploaded Rose Room transcription had been taken –  off a Blu-Disc LP.  Either the turntable could be run at half speed (if equipped with 16 2/3-rpm) and recorded at that speed or the recorder could be run at half speed on playback.  Then the reel-to-reel tape had to be laboriously played and rewound to an inexact position over and over again – back and forth … .

Now, with our digital paraphernalia, various playback speeds are available while retaining the same pitch – and replaying a selection is instantaneous and precise.  Delightful.  One can now concentrate on the task at hand.  It also helps to have thirty-five years of further experience in transcribing and playing CC.

A shame that the beautiful musicality of the fast-spinning shellac record wasnt retained with the conversion to the digital configuration.

 

Go to  “Rose Room”  transcription page

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page 

 

 


 

 
February 5, 2017

'Round about September of last year, a significant book on Charles was published with complete transcriptions of solos from studio and live performances including “comparisons of solos from multiple takes and sessions.”

          Charlie Christian:  Selected Solos from the Father of Modern Jazz Guitar

Guitarist/educator Chip Henderson has compiled/translated 37 versions of tunes recorded by Charlie Christian of which eleven had not been published commercially before.  These transcriptions are on a par with the best that have been previously done.  This a most worthy manuscript – a bargain, actually, for such a vast enterprising endeavor.

Guitar tabs are included with all the transcriptions – in standard fingering which the author dubs a “chord grip” approach which in essence is the modus operandi of most guitar soloists since the advent;  he also states that he believes the fingerings presented are “the ones Charlie used.”  Notations and tabs are all well done.

(A snide aside for the cognoscenti:  This by-the-book fingering method is definitely best for a tutorial – we certainly don't want to scare off the beginner with any of Charles’ wild and daunting self-taught manipulations flying all over the fretboard.)

Transcribed titles:

As Long As I Live  (2 versions)
Benny's Bugle  (8 versions)
Flying Home  (5 versions)
Gone with 'What' Wind  (4 versions)
Good Enough to Keep  (6 versions)
Grand Slam  (2 versions)
Honeysuckle Rose  (2 versions)
I Found a New Baby  (2 versions)
Rose Room  (3 versions)
The Sheik of Araby  (3 versions)

 


Charlie Christian:  Selected Solos from the Father of Modern Jazz Guitar

Compiled/Transcribed by Chip Henderson

104 pp soft cover

Van Nuys: Alfred Music
ISBN: 978-1470633493
Dimensions: 11.8 x 8.8 inches


 


The esteemed musicologist Clive Downs has updated the Bibliography section accordingly:

Go to  Musical Analysis Bibliography      [ Scroll down to Henderson ]

Go to  Solos Bibliography section.      [ Scroll down to Henderson ]

[ Your host had added some reference notes in the Analysis of Solos sub-section to facilitate the identification of the various renditions ]

 
 


December 7, 2016

“America in Swingtime” featuring Benny Goodman and his Sextet was broadcast by WNYC on February 19, 1941 as part of the radio station's American Music Festival.  Fortunately, most of the program was recorded and stored in the New York City Municipal Archives.  Four years ago it was publicly re-broadcast for the first time since the original airing.

The recording started at the tail end of “Rose Room” with Charlie Christian concluding his solo.  A transcription of that five-bar solo fragment has been added to the Transcriptions Section.

Go to  “Rose Room”  transcription page

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page

 




October 6, 2016

There was one other noteworthy release during our seven year absence – a CD issued in July 2011 that presents, for the first time, 17 of Jerry Newhouse’s memorable recordings just as he originally recorded them on location or from broadcasts:

“Charlie Christian — Electric”
Uptown Records UPCD 27.63

Total Time is listed as 54:48;  includes an exceptional 28-page booklet with very few typos and no major gaffes (I suppose Auld and Jerome do share a resemblance).  Only quibble that I would have is that, in the booklet, too much is made of Charles’ slight association with western swing – an exaggeration that has appeared in a couple of other publications as well.

There are no new CC solos here that haven't been issued previously, but this release has, finally, all the tracks accurately set.  Highly recommended.
 


cover photo:   22 September 1940 – sittin’-in with Harlan Leonard’s band
Lincoln Hall, Kansas City, en route to NYC


“New digital transfers from the Original Newhouse Acetates.”

 

UPTOWN     "Flashback Series" UPCD 27.63 CD USA 2011   56:36
CHARLIE CHRISTIAN — ELECTRIC     Original JERRY NEWHOUSE Recordings
          CHARLIE CHRISTIAN QUARTET / 1939 AFTER HOURS JAM SESSION      
1 TEA FOR TWO       4:54 [Jam] SEPTEMBER 24, 1939
2 STAR DUST       5:44 [Jam] SEPTEMBER 24, 1939
3 I GOT RHYTHM [Take 2]     3:34 [Jam] SEPTEMBER 24, 1939
4 I GOT RHYTHM [Take 1]     3:33 [Jam] SEPTEMBER 24, 1939
          BENNY GOODMAN SEXTET / 1939-1940 BROADCASTS        
5 FLYING HOME       3:06 [Aircheck] AUGUST 19, 1939
6 MEMORIES OF YOU       3:16 [Aircheck] OCTOBER 7, 1939
7 AC-DC CURRENT       2:38 [Aircheck] OCTOBER 14, 1939
8 FLYING HOME       3:11 [Aircheck] OCTOBER 16, 1939
9 SHIVERS       2:53 [Aircheck] NOVEMBER 4, 1939
10 SEVEN COME ELEVEN  (ROAST TURKEY STOMP)   2:43 [Aircheck] NOVEMBER 25, 1939
11 AC-DC CURRENT       2:29 [Aircheck] NOVEMBER 27, 1939
12 AC-DC CURRENT       2:18 [Aircheck] DECEMBER 2, 1939
13 DINAH       3:06 [Aircheck] DECEMBER 16, 1939
14 GONE WITH "WHAT" WIND     3:34 [Aircheck] MARCH 19, 1940
15 THE SHEIK OF ARABY     3:58 [Aircheck] APRIL 12, 1940
16 THE SHEIK OF ARABY   < complete Newhouse recording > 2:49 [Aircheck] APRIL 26, 1940
17 SIX APPEAL       2:44 [Aircheck] JUNE 22, 1940


Outstanding work.  This is how such priceless historic music should always be conveyed to the public.  Highest recommendation for the presentation of the music.
 
 




September 25, 2016
 

The Photo Gallery has been given a momentous, long-overdue update

Number of photos increased by ~ 44% !
 

Go to  Photo Gallery

 




September 15, 2016

Updates to the Musical Analysis subsection of the bibliographies by noted author and musicologist Clive Downs
describing recent works by:

•  Roberto Colombo

•  Marcello Piras

•  Shawn Salmon

Go to  Musical Analysis Bibliography

 




September 9, 2016

Goodman’s private collection was bequeathed to the Yale University Music Library and, since the late 1980s, the library had been issuing and reissuing items that were recorded between the mid-1950s and the mid-1980s so the release of these recordings from an entirely different era was rather unexpected.

An essential release that kinda got lost in the shuffle during our relocation was a two-CD set containing two previously unissued recordings from a radio broadcast featuring Charlie Christian with the Sextet:
 

JANUARY 15,  1940            Shortwave Broadcast to Scandinavia      NBC Radio Network,  NYC

Benny Goodman Sextet:   Charlie  Christian,   Benny Goodman-clt,  Lionel Hampton-vib,
Johnny Guarnieri-p,  Artie Bernstein-b,  Nick Fatool-d.

FLYING HOME

theme w/ ens – 16, 8 bars (clt brk),
♪  32-bar solo,
chord accents behind vib – 16, 8 bars + riffs on brk,
riffs w/ ens – 16, 8 bars (clt brk).

STAR DUST

♪  32-bar solo.
 

Yale Archives, Vol. 11-12:  NBC Broadcast Recordings
     Jazz Heritage Society 5291134
:
  It was also released as part of a box set
The Complete Yale Music Archives
     Musical Heritage Society 1410253:

 
A couple of years later the double-CD was reissued as
Yale Archives, Vols. 11 & 12:  NBC Broadcast Recordings, 1936-1943
     Jazz Heritage Society 5262997:
  The U.K. version was volume five on Nimbus NI 2734/35:

 

These were the only two titles recorded on this date and, as far as I know, there’s no other place to get these two recordings.

There is also a third CC track on here:  Gone With What Draft  (Feb 24, 1941 – previously released and readily available).

Go to  Albums Index  and scroll down to Jazz Heritage Society for a few more CD details


 



September 5, 2016

A recent CD release:

First Star of the Electric Guitar


 

Last year brought a CD of interest:  Charlie Christian 'live'  listing a couple of titles that were not known to be in his repertoire.  Turns out that Charles is not even on 20% of the tracks.

Cute idea to show what the Goodman sextet sounded like with guitarists prior to his arrival on the scene:
Track one has a typically good guitar solo by Leonard Ware followed by three tracks with the western-swing picking of George Rose.  It definitely succeeds in demonstrating how the sextet’s rinky-dink sound was instantly transported to an entirely new era by Charlie Christian…but two tracks certainly would have sufficed, especially since not all of those tracks even have a guitar solo.

Then there's Ain’t Misbehavin’ which is a guest showcase for Louis Armstrong exclusively (this makes 25% of the CD tracks without a CC solo) – at least Charles can be prominently heard on rhythm guitar on this one.  Reckon it had to be included so that Armstrong's name could be used, top of the list, on the cover.

As to the most intriguing title on the roster:  track 16 – “Honeysuckle Rose Jam” clocking in at 5:14.  Well, it is a jam alright but it's on Oh, Lady Be Good from the Christmas Eve concert, and the reason it's listed with that time is that it's been hacked down even more than before.  The liner notes read “The version included here has been edited to better showcase the brilliant guitar work of Christian throughout.”  Thats all well and good and we should find no offense in that statement … but we would expect that surely a copy of this recording could have been tracked down that did not have Charles’ third chorus already edited out!  One cant hardly showcase someone's brilliant work when a big chunk of the solo is chopped off, can one?  By the way, the other choruses that were removed also took out almost all of Charles’ rhythm guitar work on the tune.
     Here’s a graphic of the surgery:  spliced recording
     (then click on UP if you wish to compare with other versions)


All of the CC tracks are from broadcasts or concerts prior to the long summer-of-1940 break halfway through his career with the Goodman sextet.  Attractive packaging, nice booklet with a rare photo of the sextet at the Catalina Casino;  and First Star of the Electric Guitar has a nice ring to it.  Good idea but poor execution where it really counts though.  A shame since this imprint has put out a lot of very good stuff in the past.  Someone didnt do their homework this time, Wayne.  Can't recommend this one even though it has two legitimate titles that are very rarely issued.  Its one more CC CD that leaves you scratching your head – What the …


Oh, Lady Be Good is here on two tracks, one with CC, one without

 

Go to  Albums Index  and scroll down to Mr. Music for a few more details on this CD


 


August 31, 2016

The Bibliographies sections have been updated to include items released during our hiatus.

Among those are entries for works by:

Jan Evensmo – a significant update of his innovative CC Solography from the 1970s.  Essential.

Roberto G. Colombo – in-depth book on Charles:  Il Chitarrista di Jazz.

Koji Ishizawa – some solo transcriptions.

Go to  Bibliographies section.

For Evensmo, go to  Solographies subsection.

 


Colombo
Good Read
Best enjoyed if fluent in the Italian language,
in music, and in philosophy
 




August 5, 2016

Instated:

“ 78-rpm Records ”


A brand new section detailing the Charlie Christian singles from the early days

Go to  78-rpm Records

 


 

Bonham, Texas sign
Bonham, Texas sign

 




July 29, 2016          Charlie Christian’s 100th Birthday Anniversary

“Solo Flight:  The Charlie Christian Legacy”

* website reactivated *

now located at the alluvium of the Superstition Mountains with our own unique internet domain name

you might like to scan the Chronology  page to view some of the activities since last we met
and the Links  page for the NPR centennial broadcast and a special podcast from London (interview in Spanish, music in Music)
 



INTERMISSION

 



January 2009

“Solo Flight:  The Charlie Christian Web Site”

* temporarily inactivated *

Shut down due to relocation from the Chihuahuan Desert to the Sonoran Desert
(the same ISP Web service is not available at the new location)
 



August 12, 2008

The BG alternate takes CD released by Riki Parths (RP) Neatwork label (Austria) has been added to the Solography/Discography sections:

Benny Goodman:  The Alternative Takes, Vol. 4
(1939-1940)

Neatwork RP 2067

There hadnt been much urgency in listing this CD due to the spotty history of prior releases by the label and this one is no exception.  For the period covered by this CD, there are four alternate takes that are not included:

October 2, 1939            Flying Home (aka Homeward Bound)
November 22, 1939      Soft Winds
April 10, 1940               I Surrender, Dear
April 10, 1940               Grand Slam

Curiously, two snippets of I Surrender, Dear are included but not the complete alternate take.

There have been some inquiries received about the contents of this CD so here it is.  The last six CC tracks recorded in April 1940 list the date that the matrix number was assigned rather than the recording date.  There are seven additional tracks at the end of the disc dating from 1933 thru 1938.  This was one of the last releases by the label and it doesnt look like there are any more coming.

A listing of the tracks can be viewed in the Albums Index of the Discography section:

Go to  Albums Index  and scroll down to Neatwork RP 2067

 

Neatwork BG alternative takes CD



July 29, 2008          Charlie Christian’s 92nd Birthday Anniversary

The “Chronology” section has been updated to include events of the past year.

Go to  Chronology  page


One of those events was telecast by an OKC station and here
s a clip of the tribute from a couple of months ago:

Go to  JALC Hall of Fame celebration
 



July 4, 2008

Updated the Biographical Bibliography page to include recent Charlie Christian DVDs:

Go to  Video and Film
 



June 30, 2008

Coming up next month:

The 2008 Charlie Christian International Music Festival

      July 30 through August 2, 2008

          Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

July 30th (Wednesday):  Jam Session at the Bricktown Brewery at 7:30 pm
July 31st (Thursday):  Battle of the Bands at the Bricktown Brewery at 7:30 pm
August 1st (Friday):  The Jazz Explosion at the Rose State Performing Arts Center at 7:30 pm
August 2nd (Saturday):  Outdoor Street Festival (great ethnic food & music workshops) on Reno Avenue
        Cultural Tours:  Visit the
Deep Deuce” area where Charlie Christian grew up and played!

              produced by:  Charlie Christian Productions

    for additional information call BLAC Inc (405) 524-3800
 



May 2, 2008

A transcription of Charlie Christian’s eight-bar solo break on  “I’m Confessin’”  has been added to the Transcriptions Section along with Comments & Analyses.   This is from a studio session on December 20, 1939 and the only known take of this tune.

Go to  “I’m Confessin’”  transcription page

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page
 



April 21, 2008

Galaxy Music Ltd (The Netherlands) CD aircheck compilation:

Charly Christian and The Benny Goodman Sextet

Galaxy 3899442

Contains 16 tracks (one with the full orchestra) of broadcasts in chronological order and, except for the packaging, is identical to a 1993 CD reissue on Archives of Jazz 380123 2.

Discographical information on the insert is minimal, listing only the tune title and the recording time.  Full details have been entered in the Solography and Discography sections on this site:

Go to  Albums Index  and scroll down to Galaxy 3899442

(This CD is listed on several on-line sites misleadingly entitled At The Rose Room New York 1939” its not a recommended release the fidelity is not at all good and there are very loud pops on three tracks)

 

Galaxy 3899442



Also added were discographical data on a double-
CD issued by Frémeaux & Associés (France) containing only three tracks with Charlie Christian on board with the sextet.  Details have been entered in the Solography and Discography sections:  Benny Goodman—The Quintessence, catalog number FA 244.
 



February 17, 2008

Updated the Links page:

Go to  Links
 



February 2, 2008

Last month, Shinko Music Entertainment published a book featuring Charlie Christian and Django Reinhardt:

Jazz Guitar Book, Vol. 16

ISBN 978-4-401-63169-8, 130 pages, 7x10 inches, soft cover.
Published quarterly (more or less) for ¥ 2,100 (approximately $2000).
Standard music notation with tablature, solo analyses (all in Japanese).

The Charlie Christian section has two complete solo transcriptions and thirteen extracted phrases.

Transcription titles are identified in the Bibliographies section.

 

Shinko Music



November 15, 2007

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (New York) recently published a book by Dunstan Prial entitled

The Producer:  John Hammond  and The Soul  of American Music.

It's a biography of John Hammond; 347 pages which includes about a dozen pages on Charlie Christian and several mentions of CC throughout the book.  [ISBN 0-374-11304-1]
 



April 26, 2007

Coming up next month:

The 2007 Charlie Christian International Jazz Festival

      May 31 (Thursday) through June 10 (Sunday), 2007

                        in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Dedication ceremony of the renaming of Byers Avenue to Charlie Christian Avenue
                                 will be on June 5th at 3:00 pm

              produced by:  Charlie Christian Productions

    for additional information call BLAC Inc (405) 524-3800
 



April 14, 2007

Updated the Links page:

Go to  Links
 



March 13, 2007

Here are two recent Charlie Christian releases from Europe:
 


This 2-CD set was released two months ago
by the French label Le chant du monde:

Charlie Christian—Blues in B

Le Chant du Monde   274 1459.60

Contains 40 tracks with recordings from Columbia, Blue Note, RCA, and Vocalion as well as jam sessions, radio broadcasts, a studio rehearsal, and a concert.

The 10-page booklet is written in both English and French.  The discographical information in the booklet appears to have been taken from this site.

(Listed as Blues in Le” on amazon.com due to the style of the cursive script on the cover)

A listing of the tracks can be viewed in the Albums Index of the Discography section:

Go to  Albums Index  and scroll down to Le Chant du Monde
(It is listed under  “L”  not  “C”)

274 1459.60



This single CD was released about a year ago on the well-known label by Disconforme S.L. which is based in Spain but licensed in Andorra for copyright convenience:

Charlie Christian:  The Genius of the Electric Guitar
[that title yet one more time]

Definitive   DRCD11288

Contains 19 tracks with recordings from Columbia, two tracks from the studio jam (the two usual ones), and three tracks from the jam sessions at Mintons.

The 8-page booklet is written in English.  The discographical information in the booklet were taken from my site, as was the single photograph.  Included are copies of Charles birth and death certificates probably also from this site.

A listing of the tracks can be viewed in the Albums Index of the Discography section:

Go to  Albums Index  and scroll down to Definitive DRCD11288

 

DRCD11288



December 9, 2006

On 5 December 2006, a street in the Bricktown section of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma was renamed:

“Charlie Christian Avenue”

Previously it was the part of Byers Avenue that was north of Interstate 40 and the North Canadian River which separated the two disconnected sections of Byers;  between Lincoln Blvd and Geary Ave, running from Reno Ave to 2nd St.
Next to where Charles’ Douglass High School once stood.

For more information go to  The Oklahoman
 



October 2, 2006

Transcriptions of Charlie Christian’s 32-bar solos on  “The Sheik of Araby”  which were recorded at The Cocoanut Grove nightclub from broadcasts on 12 & 26 April 1940 have been added along with Comments & Analyses.

Go to  “The Sheik of Araby”  12 April 1940  transcription page

Go to  “The Sheik of Araby”  26 April 1940  transcription page

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page
 



September 15, 2006

Transcriptions of Charlie Christian’s intros, verses, solos, and fours from the master and alternate takes (three pages of each) of  “The Sheik of Araby”  which were recorded in Hollywood on 3 April 1940 have been added to the Transcriptions Section along with Comments & Analyses.
          —  16-bar verse intro
          —  32-bar solo
          —  two 4-bar solos (trading fours on final chorus)

Go to  “The Sheik of Araby”  Master Take A  transcription page

Go to  “The Sheik of Araby”  Alternate Take B  transcription page

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page
 



September 7, 2006

Transcriptions of Charlie Christian’s solos on the master and alternate takes of  “I Surrender, Dear”  which was recorded in Hollywood on 10 April 1940 have been added to the Transcriptions Section along with Comments & Analyses.

Go to  “I Surrender, Dear”  Master Take B  transcription page

Go to  “I Surrender, Dear”  Alternate Take A  transcription page

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page
 



August 29, 2006

Comments & Analysis have been added to the “Honeysuckle Rose (Up on Teddy’s Hill)” seven-page transcription.
Tablature has been changed to reflect CC’s actual fingering.

Go to  “Honeysuckle Rose ”  May 1941  transcription pages

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page
 



July 29, 2006          Charlie Christian’s 90th Birthday Anniversary

For this year’s anniversary Clive Downs has contributed three recent publications to the Bibliography section:

  • New items in Clive Downs’ Biographical (section 1) Bibliography
    —  Goins & McKinney (2005) – “A Biography of Charlie Christian:
          Jazz Guitar’s King of Swing”
          440-page hardcover book
            (see March 7, 2005 below)
  • New items in Clive Downs’ Musical Analysis (section 3) Bibliography
    —  Ayeroff (2005) – “Swing to Bop:
          The Music of Charlie Christian, Pioneer of the Electric Guitar”
          237-page softcover book
          with 2-CD demo
            (see November 26, 2005 below)
    —  Dochtermann (2005) – “The Charlie Christian Method”
          44-page softcover book with CD demo

Go to  Biographical Bibliography

  • New items in Clive Downs’ Notated Solos Bibliography
    —  Dochtermann (2005) – 10 partial or complete transcriptions

Go to  Solos Bibliography
 

CC Method



May 31, 2006

A reminder regarding next week:

The 2006 Charlie Christian International Jazz Festival

        June 6 (Tuesday) through June 11 (Sunday), 2006

             at Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

              produced by:  Charlie Christian Productions

      for more information call BLAC Inc (405) 524-3800
 



May 8, 2006

The 4-CD box set Charlie Christian:  The Genius of the Electric Guitar (Columbia/Legacy C4K 65564) originally released in 2002 has been selected by Christopher Porterfield as one of the “7 GREATEST JAZZ CDS” — in the 15 May issue of Time magazine.

An excerpt from page 66:

“In the years B.C. (Before Christian), the jazz guitar was mostly a rhythm instrument.  In his hands, it emerged as a brilliantly lyrical solo voice, one that echoes in virtually every electric guitarist who has followed.   Christian’s death from tuberculosis at 25 made him one of jazzs greatest might-have-beens.  This four-disc package—largely his 1939-41 appearances as a precocious star of Benny Goodmans combos—proves that he was one of jazzs greatest, period.”

 

C4K 65564



January 25, 2006

A new session with Charlie Christian on rhythm guitar has been added to this site.  Charles recorded four tunes for the Columbia label on 16 January 1941 with vocal group The Charioteers.   Walter Page (bass) and Jo Jones (drums) were also enlisted for the session.   James Sherman, one of The Charioteers, is on piano.

Scott Wenzel, producer for Mosaic Records, discovered the session documented in the Columbia ledgers at Sony.

Go to  Solography  and scroll down to January 16, 1941
 



January 5, 2006

A transcription of Charlie Christian’s intro & solo on  “Honeysuckle Rose”  broadcast from the Catalina Casino in June of 1940 has been added to the Transcriptions Section along with Comments & Analysis.

The three other takes of  “Honeysuckle Rose”  with the sextet & orchestra get Comments & Analysis and CC tablature.

Go to  “Honeysuckle Rose”  22 November 1939  transcription page

Go to  “Honeysuckle Rose”  24 December 1939  transcription page

Go to  “Honeysuckle Rose”  22 June 1940  transcription page

Go to  “Honeysuckle Rose”  19 November 1940  transcription page

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page
 



December 23, 2005

The Annual Charlie Christian International Jazz Festival

                               June 8 - 11, 2006

                Bricktown - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

              produced by:  Charlie Christian Productions

     for more information call BLAC INC (405) 524-3800
 



December 10, 2005

Both takes of  “Profoundly Blue”  get the Comments & Analysis and CC tablature treatment this time.
Four-bar chord intros and three-chorus blues solos by Charles on each take.

Go to  “Profoundly Blue”  (master take)  transcription page

Go to  “Profoundly Blue”  (alternate take)  transcription page

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page
 



December 5, 2005

Nocturne (France) has released a 2-CD, long-book compilation from some of the same people that brought you the Masters of Jazz (Media 7) series:

Charlie Christian

BD Jazz  JZBD022

Contains 31 tracks (one of the tracks contains six tunes from a studio jam) with recordings from Columbia and Blue Note, jam sessions, a studio rehearsal, and a concert.

The 32-page booklet contains an amusing bande dessin�e (comic strip) biography of Charlie Christian albeit neither historically nor politically correct.  The discographical information in the booklet was taken from my site.  Nocturne provides a web page at  BD Jazz  JZBD022.

A listing of the tracks can be viewed in the Albums Index of the Discography section:

Go to  Albums Index  and scroll down to BD Jazz

 

Jampur Fraize



November 26, 2005

Mel Bay Publications has just published an excellent book of solo transcriptions and analyses by Stan Ayeroff.   There are 39 transcriptions of solos that Charlie Christian recorded with the Goodman sextet, at the “Spirituals to Swing concert, the Profoundly Blue session for Blue Note, and jam sessions at the Harlem Breakfast Club, Mintons, and Monroes.

The first part of the book has basic to advanced guitar instructions.  The second part has the analyses along with solo transcriptions with labels identifying each solo analysis.  The third part has the same 39 transcriptions with string and finger markers replacing the analysis labels.  The author wishes to encourage the reading of standard music notation therefore no tablature is included.

Transcriptions:
Ad-Lib Blues, Good Morning Blues, Guy
s Got to Go, Honeysuckle Rose I, Honeysuckle Rose II, Honeysuckle Rose III, I Got Rhythm, I Never Knew, Im Confessin, I Found a New Baby I, I Found a New Baby II, Ida Sweet as Apple Cider, Jamming in Four, Lips Flips, Oh Lady Be Good (complete 3 choruses + bridge), On the Alamo, Paging the Devil, Poor Butterfly, Profoundly Blue I, Profoundly Blue II, Riffin Around (!), Rose Room I, Rose Room II, Rose Room III, Royal Garden Blues I, Royal Garden Blues II, Royal Garden Blues III, Swing to Bop, The Sheik of Araby I, The Sheik of Araby II, The Sheik of Araby III, Tea for Two, These Foolish Things I, These Foolish Things II, These Foolish Things III, Untitled Tune I, Untitled Tune II, Up on Teddys Hill, Way Down Yonder in New Orleans.

This is the second book on Charlie Christian that Ayeroff has written.  The first had 20 transcriptions, 14 of which are also included in the new book.  The transcriptions in both books are very similar but not identical.

Go to  Solos Bibliography
scroll down to Ayeroff (2005)
for list of transcriptions (section 1)
for description of each transcription (section 2)

 


Swing to Bop: The Music of Charlie Christian

by Stan Ayeroff

ISBN 0-7866-7319-2, 240 pages, 9x12 inches, standard music notation, playing instructions with some fretboard diagram grids, detailed solo analysis, transcriptions with left-hand finger indicators.

Two demo CDs are included with slow and fast versions of each transcription recorded by the author.

Additional information is at Mel Bay Publications.

Best price available is at Guitar Gallery Music.

 

Swing to Bop



November 17, 2005

The tracks in the Proper box set mentioned below (October 28) have now been entered in the Solography and Discography sections.  The 44-page illustrated booklet contains a short biography and commentary on the tunes by Joop Visser and a complete discography.  However, “I Found a New Baby is listed as the master take (1) on disc 2, track 14 but is actually the alternate take (2) and Soft Winds on disc 3, track 8 is in fact AC-DC Current from a week earlier (Visser also mentions it as Soft Winds in the notes).

The selections could be been better—what is the point of including three versions of “Gone with What Draft” and “Star Dust”?  And surely they could have found something other than “Li’l Boy Love.”

Charlie Christian:  The Original Guitar Genius is nicely packaged but at least one track had some sound distortion.

A listing of the tracks can be viewed in the Albums Index of the Discography section.

Go to  Albums Index  and scroll down to ProperBox 98
 



October 28, 2005

Proper Music (UK) will release a 4-CD box set compilation on
October 31:

Charlie Christian:  The Original Guitar Genius

ProperBox 98

Contains 84 tracks with studio recordings from Columbia, Blue Note, and one from RCA on the first two discs and live sessions on the third and fourth discs.

The discographical information in the booklet was taken from my site.  Full details will be entered in the Solography and Discography sections as soon as I can verify the takes.  [done—see Nov 17 entry above]

Proper Music provides a discography and track listing:  ProperBox 98

Thanks to musicologist Fer Urbina for alerting me to this item      

 

The Original Guitar Genius



September 28, 2005

Centerstream has just published a solo analysis book:

The Guitar Chord Shapes of Charlie Christian

by Joseph Weidlich

ISBN 1-57424-149-4, 96 pages, 9x12 inches, standard music notation, some tablature, chord diagram grids, solo analyses.
A 93-track, computer-generated, demo CD is included.

Joe Weidlich:  “The purpose of this book is to present some of the common licks often used by Charlie Christian in the basic chord shapes of F, D and A…”

No actual solos transcriptions are notated — only 1- to 4-bar unidentified phrases, each with a short analysis.

Centerstream Publications is distributed by Hal Leonard.

Coincidently released within days of a CC biography
(see 7 March 2005 entry below).

details forthcoming here in the Musical Analysis Bibliography

 

Guitar Chord Shapes



July 29, 2005          Charlie Christian’s 89th Birthday Anniversary

The two-chorus solo transcription of “Star Dust” from the Harlem Breakfast Club has been reviewed using 24-bit technology and revised.

Go to  Star Dust  transcription page

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page
 



Yet another pointless European CD compilation, The Best of Charlie Christian, was released a last month by Chestnut Music Traders Ltd.  Fourteen tracks from the Columbia studios (all masters), three jams (one incomplete), and two Vocalion master takes.
 

Chestnut
 

Maybe about a third of the tracks might be considered “the best of, but the rest are questionable.  It includes two songs (Four Day Creep & Hard Time Blues) that have CC playing obbligati for 12 bars behind blues singer Ida Cox—hardly the best of.  Track 4 is an orchestral recording of Stompin at the Savoy that does not even include Charlie Christian—its erroniously listed as being recorded at Mintons.  Two-thirds of Topsy is missing—only CCs first solo is here.  Short liner notes;  neither recording dates nor matrices are provided.  Track sequencing appears to be random, as are the selections.  Definitely avoid this one.

A listing of the tracks can be viewed in the Albums Index of the Discography section.

Go to  Albums Index  and scroll down to Chestnut CN1003
 



June 8, 2005

20th Annual Charlie Christian International Jazz Festival

                               June 9 - 12, 2005

                Bricktown - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

              produced by:  Charlie Christian Productions

   for more information call BLAC, INC. (405) 524-3800
 



April 16, 2005

A “Chronology” page containing an outline of Charlie Christian’s life and some additional posthumous events (from his birth to the present) has been added to this site:

Go to  Chronology  page
 



March 21, 2005

Comments & Analysis and CC tablature have been added to the master take of “These Foolish Things” and new transcriptions of the alternate take and a breakdown are now up to complement the master.
Four-bar chord intros and eight-bar solos by CC (only the intro survived the breakdown).

Go to  “These Foolish Things”  (alternate take)  transcription page

Go to  “These Foolish Things”  (breakdown)  transcription page

Go to  “These Foolish Things”  (master take)  transcription page

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page
 



March 14, 2005

“Poor Butterfly” and “On the Alamo” both sit on A/B/A/C structures and on both Charlie Christian takes his 8-bar solo on the ‘A’ section.  Comments & Analysis and CC tablature have been added to both versions of “Poor Butterfly” and the sole take of “On the Alamo” transcriptions.

Go to  “On the Alamo”  transcription page

Go to  “Poor Butterfly”  (studio version)  transcription page

Go to  “Poor Butterfly”  (live version)  transcription page

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page
 



March 7, 2005

The final draft was completed a couple of weeks ago and is now at the publishing house.

A BIOGRAPHY OF CHARLIE CHRISTIAN:  JAZZ GUITAR’S KING OF SWING
by Wayne E. Goins & Craig R. McKinney

Seventeen chapters, 440 pages, indexed, with bibliography
forward by jazz author Lewis Porter
to be published by The Edwin Mellen Press
on 30 September 2005
ISBN:  0-7734-6091-8

Finally, after more than sixty years, a definitive publication on Charlie Christian will be in print.

Go to the  Edwin Mellen Press  website to see description, reviews, table of contents

(Disclosure:  this monumental and memorable project was undertaken in association with LeoValdes, your site host
—see October 22, 2004 below.)
 



February 28, 2005

The “Kansas City Six played two blues at the From Spirituals to Swing concert of 1939.   Comments & Analysis and CC tablature have been added to both “Good Morning Blues” & “Paging the Devil”solo transcriptions.

Go to  “Good Morning Blues”  transcription page

Go to  “Paging the Devil”  transcription page

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page
 



February 21, 2005

Comments & Analysis and CC tablature have been added to the “Haven’t Named It Yet” solo transcription.

Go to  “Haven’t Named It Yet”  transcription page

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page
 



February 7, 2005

Comments & Analysis and CC tablature have been added to the solo transcription of

“Stompin’ at the Savoy”   (June 1941 aircheck).

Go to  Stompin’ at the Savoy  transcription page

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page
 



January 17, 2005

Another strange CD compilation, Charlie Christian, was released a couple of months ago by Sony France on the “Guitar & Bass” series of their Sony Music Media label.  Sixteen tracks from the Columbia studios.  Some are masters and some are alternate takes plus one track from the 28 October 1940 rehearsal with Lester Young.  Most curious are the last two tracks:  a breakdown of “Gone with What Draft” is included along with a complete alternate take of the same tune with the same CC eight-bar “written” cadenza;  that’s followed by a fourteen minute track of a rehearsal of “Benny’s Bugle” with all the chatter and false starts.
 

Sony Music Media
 

The “Guitar & Bass” that appears on the image is actually on the plastic slip cover.  The short liner notes are in French and neither recording dates nor matrices are provided.

A listing of the tracks can be viewed in the Albums Index of the Discography section.

Go to  Albums Index  and scroll down to Sony Music Media SMM 517115 2
 



December 21, 2004
  • New items in Clive Downs’ Biographical (section 1) Bibliography
    —  Broadbent (2003) – “Charlie Christian” – magazine article
    —  Christian (2005) – “Guitarmen, Wake Up and Pluck” – magazine reprint
    —  Goins (2004) – “Searching for Charlie Christian” – two-part magazine article
    —  Wheelwright (2003) – “I Found Charlie’s ES-150” – magazine article
    —  Woodard (2003) – “Charlie Christian” – magazine article
  • New item in Clive Downs’ Discography (section 2) Bibliography
    —  Rust (1982) – “Jazz Records 1897-1942”
  • New items in Clive Downs’ Musical Analysis (section 3) Bibliography
    —  Aledorf (2003) – “Charlie Christian:  A Step-by-Step Breakdown…” – Video DVD
    —  Fox (2002) – “The Magic Christian” – magazine article
    —  Hansen (1998) – “Tutorial, Solos, Licks” – website:  tutorial
    —  Valdes (2002) – “Charlie Christian Transcriptions” – website:  comments
    & analyses

Go to  Biographical Bibliography

  • New items in Clive Downs’ Notated Solos Bibliography
    —  GuitarOne (2002) – Seven Come Eleven transcription
    —  GuitarOne (2004) – Flying Home transcription
    —  Hal Leonard (2003) – 8 partial or complete demonstrations on
    DVD
    —  Rossi (2003) – Rose Room transcription

Go to  Solos Bibliography
 



December 12, 2004

Comments & Analysis and CC tablature have been added to the solo transcription (six + three-choruses) of the renowned “Topsy” (aka “Swing to Bop”) — for the first time anywhere, the tab shows how Charlie Christian actually played it.

Go to  Topsy  transcription page

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page
 



October 28, 2004

A rather odd two-CD Charlie Christian compilation, AC / DC Current, was released this month by the Italian company Comet Records on their Universe (UV 129/2) label.   The 40 tracks were obviously taken from the 98 tracks in the 2002 Columbia/Legacy four-CD box set, The Genius of the Electric Guitar, but it’s hard to figure out the reasoning behind the selections.

The producers may have been trying to include only the master takes plus the Columbia studio jam but they left out a couple of masters and included several alternate takes.  Along with the master, four additional takes of “Gone with What Draft” are includedthis is the tune that has the same CC eight-bar “written” cadenza on all takes.  The same holds for the alternate take of “A Smo-o-o-oth One”—almost identical short CC solos on both takes.  It would have been much better if those alternates had been excluded to make room for the five tracks from the Columbia studio rehearsal session with Lester Young.  The alternate take of “I Found a New Baby” is included instead of the master—no doubt because it’s erroneously labeled in the Columbia/Legacy set.

UV 129
 

The packaging is kinda nifty though.   It’s like a small hard-cover book with a dozen pages listing the tunes, personnel, dates, and locations and with six photos. The discs clip on to the inside front and back covers (there’s an additional photo behind each disc).  That’s much better than the Columbia/Legacy set which looks fine on the shelf but is impractically designed for handling and has a hard-to-read booklet.

A listing of the tracks can be viewed in the Albums Index of the Discography section.

Go to  Albums Index  and scroll down to Universe UV 129/2
 



October 22, 2004

THE DEFINITIVE WORK ON THE MUSIC AND LIFE OF CHARLIE CHRISTIAN TO BE PUBLISHED NEXT YEAR:

Wayne Goins, Director of Jazz at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, is co-authoring two definitive books on Charlie Christian.

Goins, along with his colleague and co-author Craig McKinney from Topeka, Kansas, will be releasing a lengthy biography;  Goins, along with his colleague and co-author Leo Valdes [your host] from El Paso, Texas, will be releasing a discography of the recordings and a chronology of the life of Charlie Christian.

Goins, McKinney and Valdes are collaborating on both volumes and have made numerous trips to Oklahoma City to get the record straight.  They have worked very closely with the Christian / Downey family, as well as other participants in the city who sat for interviews.  Anita Arnold, Director of the Black Liberated Arts Center in Oklahoma City, has been highly instrumental in gathering sources for the project and continues to be an integral part of the team.

We are all very excited about the ongoing project, which will present to the many Charlie Christian fans around the world a treasure trove of original and previously unreleased material on the incredible life and times of Charlie Christian, to be published by Mellen Press in 2005.  Included in these books will be never-before-published photos, original biographical material, an up-to-date chronology and discography, and exclusive interviews with Margretta Lorraine Downey, Billie Jean Christian, Clarence Christian, Leroy Parks, Herb Ellis, Abe Bolar, Leslie Sheffield, Henry Butler, and many others.

For a preview of things to come, you can read two extensive pieces that Dr. Goins has already written on Charlie Christian, featured in Jazz Improv Magazine (“Searching for Charlie Christian” –Vol. 4, Number 4, and “Searching for Charlie Christian, Part II” –Vol. 5, Number 1).
[see the 29 September 2004 entry below]
 



October 5, 2004

The second installment of   “Searching for Charlie Christian”  has just been published in the Autumn 2004 issue of
Jazz Improv Magazine  (Vol. 5, Number 1).   Part II is a feature article written by Dr. Wayne Goins further describing
the research done this year for a forthcoming book on Charles.
[see September 29, 2004, for a description of the first article]

It also has a short essay in memory of Billie Jean Johnson, Charlie Christian's only child.
[see July 21, 2004, below]

Highly recommended!

Available at bookstores for only $12.95 ($17.95 in Canada) for the magazine and a CD.
[I am not affiliated with the magazine]

Go to the  Jazz Improv  website to see the cover or

To order go to the  Jazz Improv Order Form
 



October 2, 2004

Here's a transcription of Charlie Christian’s solo on his own composition  “Flying Home” —from his first studio recording with the sextet, 65 years ago today.

Two events prompted me to place a “Flying Home” transcription on this site at this time:
—The passing of Illinois Jacquet a couple of months ago.
    (He was best known for his 1943 solo on this tune with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra and remained so to this day.)
—And the publication of a tablature transcription of this 1939 master take in the July 2004 issue of Guitar One magazine.
    (Hal Leonard also published it in a book last year entitled Charlie Christian:  The Definitive Collection—both contain
    the theme, solo, chords, and riffs.)

Complete with comments, analysis, and tablature to reflect CC’s actual fingering.
There’s a link there to Garry Hansen’s site which contains a standard-fingering tab for comparison.
[see the March 7, 2002 entry below for a brief explanation as to the fingering]

Go to  Flying Home  transcription

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page
 



September 29, 2004

The Summer 2004 issue of  Jazz Improv Magazine  (Vol. 4, Number 4) features a nine-page article
by Dr. Wayne Goins entitled  “Searching for Charlie Christian.”

About half of the article recounts research done in Oklahoma City for a forthcoming book on Charles.
The other half is a CC biography expertly crafted from my Chronology (which is described on the home page of this site).
[If you read this article, please note that I first heard Charlie Christian when I was living in Greenville, South Carolina, not Greenville, Texas]

Highly recommended!

Available at bookstores for only $12.95 ($17.95 in Canada) for the magazine and a CD.
[I am not affiliated with the magazine]

Go to the  Jazz Improv  website to see the cover or

To order go to the  Jazz Improv Order Form
 



August 19, 2004

On this date, 65 years ago, Charlie Christian began his short recording career that immediately had an unbelievable influence on the jazz scene.

A “Calendar of Events” page containing 21 monthly calendars documenting his activities during that period has been added to this site:

August 1939 through July 1940 and October 1940 through June 1940.

Go to  Calendar of Events  page
 



July 29, 2004          Charlie Christian’s 88th Birthday Anniversary

Comments & Analysis and CC tablature have been added to the four-chorus “Rose Room” solo transcription.
          [see the March 7, 2002 entry below for a brief explanation]

Go to  Rose Room  transcription page

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page
 



July 19, 2004

It is with a very heavy heart that I must report the passing of a wonderful friend and a grand lady, Billie Jean Christian Johnson, on the afternoon of Monday, July 19, at her home in Oklahoma City.  She was Charlie Christian’s only child and daughter of Margretta Lorraine Christian Downey;  born on December 23, 1932.   Our thoughts and prayers are with her mother and family.  May she rest in peace forever.  Thank you, Billie, with all my love, we’ll never forget you.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM, Monday, July 26, at Greater Cleaves Memorial, 1609 NE 48th Street, Oklahoma City.
 



July 12, 2004
  • Clive Downs has contributed another excellent book review of a book on Charlie Christian which was published last year:
    —  A revised edition of Peter Broadbent’s  Charlie Christian:  Solo Flight –
          The Story of the Seminal Electric Guitarist

Go to  Book-Video Reviews

 

[The first edition of Broadbent’s book was reviewed by your host in 1997.  Some of the errors pointed out in that review have been corrected, some remain, and some have disappeared.  The configuration of the second edition has been revamped completely making the book less reader-friendly than the first.]
 



May 25, 2004

Comments & Analysis and CC tablature have been added to both takes of the studio recordings of the “Solo Flight ” transcriptions.
          [see the March 7, 2002 entry below for a brief explanation]

Go to  Solo Flight – master take  transcription page

Go to  Solo Flight – alternate take  transcription page

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page
 



April 30, 2004

Charlie Christian International Jazz Festival

                       June 1 - 5, 2004

                Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

       contact:  Charlie Christian Productions
 



March 12, 2004

Comments & Analysis and CC tablature have been added to the “Blues in B” transcription.
          [see the March 7, 2002 entry below for a brief explanation]

Go to  Blues in B  transcription page

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page
 



February 29, 2004

A significant addition to Clive Downs’ Notated Solos Bibliography:

—  Dennis Sch�tze (2003) – Der Jazzgitarrist Charlie Christian:
      Studien zu musikalischen Gestaltung anhand von Transkription der Columbia Studioaufnahmen
      von 1939 bis 1941.

Roughly translated, the title reads something like:  The jazz guitarist Charlie Christian:  Studies in musical arrangements based on transcriptions of Columbia studio recordings from 1939 to 1941.  This thesis includes transcriptions of solos from 52 different recordings plus leadsheets with intros, themes, riffs, and the like.  This is a major work with analyses and commentary on a lot of different CC stuff.  Clive’s entry deals only with the transcriptions but there’ll be more to come at a later date.

Go to  Solos Bibliography
 



February 20, 2004
  • Essential reading for all Charlie Christian fans!

    Noted musicologist Clive Downs has contributed two definitive reviews of recently published CC transcription books:
    —  Wolf Marshall (2002) – The Best of Charlie Christian
    —  Hal Leonard (2003) – Charlie Christian:  The Definitive Collection

Go to  Book-Video Reviews


  • Clive Downs’ Notated Solos Bibliography has been updated:
    —  Hal Leonard (2003) – Charlie Christian:  The Definitive Collection

Go to  Solos Bibliography
 



February 9, 2004

Comments & Analysis and CC tablature have been added to the “Tea for Two” transcription.
          [see the March 7, 2002 entry below for a brief explanation]

Go to  Tea for Two  transcription page

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page


The second installment of Craig McKinney’s Charlie Christian biography is now on Garry Hansen’s site:
Charlie Christian:  Legend of the Jazz Guitar.
          [see the January 9 entry below]
 



January 9, 2004

Craig McKinney’s early biography of Charlie Christian is finally being publicly released. 
A year before Charles’ brother Clarence “It” Christian passed away in 1979, Craig interviewed him extensively on two different occasions.  This is the engaging and informative draft he wrote at the time based largely on those interviews.

The first installment of the 25-year-old draft has been posted on Garry Hansen’s site:  Charlie Christian:
Legend of the Jazz Guitar
:

         Charlie Christian:  Musician   by Craig R. McKinney
 



December 20, 2003

Added an  Unissued Charlie Christian Recordings  page.

While I was at it, also listed the  Unissued on Masters of Jazz  after the volume 9 review.
 



December 5, 2003

This transcription documents a never-released version of “Stompin’ at the Savoy” from an aircheck.
Charlie Christian plays chords, an 8-bar solo, and riffs on a one-chorus broadcast sign-off.

Go to  Stompin’ at the Savoy  transcription

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page
 



November 20, 2003

Comments & analysis and CC tablature have been added to the “Dinah” transcription.
          [see the March 7, 2002 entry below for a brief explanation]

Go to  Dinah  transcription page

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page
 



October 15, 2003

Next year’s  “Charlie Christian Jazz Festival”  is scheduled for June 1 - 5, 2004
                                           Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
 



September 18, 2003

Two more versions of “Rose Room” get the C&A / CC tab treatment.
          [see the March 7, 2002 entry below for a brief explanation]

Go to  Rose Room  (28 October 1939)  transcription

Go to  Rose Room  (6 June 1941)  transcription

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page
 



August 23, 2003

For the past several months now, a bootleg CD version of “The Harlem Jazz Scene—1941”
(originally on the 1957 LP Esoteric ES-548) has been popping up here and there.
It’s on Blue Moon Discs 008 entitled Charlie Christian — New York5-15-41
and has been included in the Discography section on this site.

front back


July 29, 2003
          Charlie Christian’s 87th Birthday Anniversary

Today “Star Dust” gets the comments & analysis and CC tablature treatment.

[see the March 7, 2002 entry below for a brief explanation]

Go to  Star Dust  transcription page

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page
 



July 10, 2003

51st Annual DownBeat Critics Poll

Charlie Christian:  The Genius of the Electric Guitar was voted a close runner-up to John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme for Reissue of the Year.
The CC 4-CD set received 144 votes, just behind the winner’s 154 votes—all other reissues received less than 35 votes.
The poll results will appear in the August 2003 issue of DownBeat magazine.
 



June 23, 2003

The Seventh Annual Jazz Journalists Association’s Jazz Awards

Sony’s Charlie Christian 4-CD deluxe set was nominated for the Historical Box Set of the Year award.

Category 6 — Historical Box Set of the Year:
•  Charlie Christian:  The Genius of the Electric Guitar    (Columbia Legacy)
•  Complete Miles Davis at Montreux   (Columbia Legacy/Warner Bros Switzerland)
•  Grant Green:  Retrospective   (Blue Note)
•  The Classic Columbia and Okeh Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang Recordings    (Mosaic)
•  The Herbie Hancock Box   (Columbia Legacy)

Winners will be announced on Wednesday, June 25 from 4 to 7 p.m. at a cocktail/supper party awards event at
B. B. King’s Blues Club and Grill, 245 W. 42nd St., NYC.  For ticket info and event details see Jazz Journalists Awards.

[ June 25:  Charlie Christian:  The Genius of the Electric Guitar  won the Historical Box Set of the Year award ]
 



May 17, 2003

Commentary has been added to both versions of “I Found a New Baby” and the tablature has been modified to reflect
CC’s actual fingering.
There’s also a link to Garry Hansen’s site which contains a standard-fingering tab for comparison.

Go to  I Found a New Baby  (master take)  transcription

Go to  I Found a New Baby  (alternate take)  transcription

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page


A CD entitled Stardust–Tea for Two… was issued recently by Warner Music France.
It contains a curious selection of 21 tunes—all have been previously released.
A listing of the CC tracks can be viewed in the Albums Index of the Discography section.

Go to  Albums Index  and scroll down to Warner Music France
 



April 30, 2003
  • New items in Clive Downs’ Biographical (section 1) Bibliography
    —  Broadbent (2002) – “His Life” – CD booklet notes
    —  Paul (2002) – “My Friend, Charlie Christian” – CD booklet notes
  • New items in Clive Downs’ Musical Analysis (section 3) Bibliography
    —  Downs (2002) – “Metric Displacement in the Improvisation of Charlie Christian”
    —  Marshall (2002) – “The Best of Charlie Christian”
    —  Marshall (2002) – “Charlie Christian Guitar Lesson” – website

Go to  Biographical Bibliography

  • New item in Clive Downs’ Notated Solos Bibliography
    —  Downs (2002) – 18 partial or complete transcriptions

Go to  Solos Bibliography


  • A CD entitled The Very Best of Electric Guitar Genius Charlie Christian   was recently issued on the
    Going for a Song (UK) label.
    It contains the same 23 tunes that were released in 1990 on the Giants of Jazz CD 53049, Charlie Christian:
    Genius of Electric Guitar
    , albeit in a different sequence.
    A listing of the CC tracks can be viewed in the Albums Index of the Discography section.

Go to  Albums Index  and scroll down to Going for a Song
 



March 10, 2003

I have added commentary to the first two versions of “Rose Room” and modified the
tablature to reflect CC’s actual fingering.
There’s a link there to Garry Hansen’s site which contains a standard-fingering tab for comparison.

Go to  Rose Room  (2 October 1939)  transcription

Go to  Rose Room  (9 October 1939)  transcription

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page


Also added a link to Allan Sutherland’s Jazz Sessionographies on the Links page.

Go to  Links
 



February 10, 2003

This transcription documents one of Charlie Christian’s more popular tunes:  “Breakfast Feud”
(with tablature showing CC’s actual fingering).
Charles gets two choruses (less 4 bars, but the tune has a 4-bar tag) on an alternate take which has his
best solo on this particular blues.
There’s a link there to Garry Hansen’s site which contains a standard-fingering tab for comparison.

Go to  Breakfast Feud  transcription

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page
 



February 2, 2003

This time “Grand Slam” gets the comments and modified tablature to reflect CC’s actual fingering.
I have linked to Garry Hansen’s site so that you can view the standard-fingering tab for comparison.
[see the March 7, 2002 entry below for a brief explanation as to what’s goin’ on]

Go to  Grand Slam  transcription

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page
 



January 27, 2003

I have added some commentary to “Ida, Sweet as Apple Cider” and modified the tablature to more closely
reflect CC’s actual fingering.
The standard-fingering tab has been retained (probably temporarily) in case anyone wants to make a comparison.
[see the March 7, 2002 entry below for a brief explanation as to what’s goin’ on]

Go to  Ida, Sweet as Apple Cider  transcription

Or go to  Transcriptions  main page
 



January 21, 2003

For what it’s worth:  On January 7, 2003, the National Academy Of Recording Arts & Sciences announced the
final nominations list for the 45th Annual GRAMMY Awards for recordings released during the eligibility year
October 1, 2001 through September 30, 2002.

Sony’s Charlie Christian 4-CD deluxe set was one of the nominees:
      Field 25 — Historical
      Category 86 — Best Historical Album

      •   Artie Shaw:  Self Portrait
             Orrin Keepnews, compilation producer; Dennis Ferrante, mastering engineer   [Bluebird]
      •   The Complete OKeh And Brunswick Bix Beiderbecke, Frank Trumbauer and Jack Teagarden Sessions (1924-36)
             Scott Wenzel, compilation producer; Andreas Meyer & Doug Pomeroy, mastering engineers   [Mosaic Records]
      •   Dylan Thomas:  The Caedmon Collection
             Rick Harris & David Nolan, compilation producers; Leslie Mona-Mathus, mastering engineer   [Caedmon Records]

       Charlie Christian:  The Genius Of The Electric Guitar
          Michael Brooks & Michael Cuscuna, compilation producers;
          Seth Foster, Ken Robertson & Mark Wilder, mastering engineers
          [Columbia/Legacy Recordings]
      •   Screamin’ And Hollerin’ The Blues:  The Worlds Of Charley Patton
             Dean Blackwood, compilation producer; David Glasser, Christopher King & Matt Sandoski, mastering engineers  [Revenant Records]

The 45th Annual GRAMMY Awards will be held on February 23 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, and will be telecast on CBS from 8-11:30 p.m. (ET/PT) in High Definition TV and 5.1 Surround Sound, marking the first broadcast of any major awards show using this caliber of technology.

[ February 23:  Screamin’ And Hollerin’ The Blues: The Worlds Of Charley Patton  won the Best Historical Album award ]
 



January 10, 2003

The March 2003 issue of Vintage Guitar magazine
will feature Charlie Christian.

Vintage Guitar:  "This month, we tell the story of Charlie Christian, the man who made the electric guitar more than just a background instrument.  Plus, the story of how one collector scored Christian's ES-250."

Of most interest to this site is:

“I Found Charlie’s ES-250!”
By Lynn Wheelwright

Gibson ES-250, serial number 96030,
and amp EH-150, serial number 12706,
were shipped to Chas Christian on 19 April 1940.

This is the first guitar CC received from Gibson — verified by the serial number and a side grain comparison.

 

Charlie Christian's ES-250 March 2003


January 2, 2003

The Annual Review of Jazz Studies 11: 2000-2001, a double issue covering two years, was published about
six weeks ago.
Articles in the eleventh volume of this excellent series present important technical analyses of four major figures:
      •  Booker Little
      •  Charlie Christian
      •  Herbie Hancock
      •  Miles Davis
In addition to the usual photo gallery, there are seven book reviews that, collectively, span the history of the music,
including reviews of books on John Coltrane and Mary Lou Williams.

Of special interest to this site, of course, is Clive Downs’ thirty-page chapter entitled
         “Metric Displacement in the Improvisation of Charlie Christian.”
A superb study on the phrasing and rhythmic elements of CCs solos, it is a historical first.
Highly recommended.

The table of contents can be viewed at  Annual Review of Jazz Studies 11
 



December 9, 2002
  • New sections have been added to the Links page:
    —  Audio/Video Sites
    —  CD Reviews Sites
    —  Foreign Language Sites
  • Also added two more links in existing sections on the Links page:
    —  “Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame” under the Biographical Sites
    —  “What’s Hot with Jazz Guitar” under the Jazz Guitar Sites

Go to  Links


  • A CD entitled Toots Mondello:  Complete Orchestra & Best Sideman Recordings
    was released a couple of weeks ago.
    —  “Featuring the Complete Recordings of Toots Modello & His Orchestra”
    —  “Plus Nine of His Best Recordings with Benny Goodman & Others 1936-1940”
    —  “Includes the Bands of Claude Thornhill, Ziggy Elman and Dick McDonough”

It contains only three tracks with Charlie Christian (on rhythm guitar only – no solos),
however, it’s the best Mondello CD ever issued.   (25 tracks;  TT=71:11)

The CD is available at  Vintage Music Productions  (catalog # VMP 0111)


  • Down Beat’s “Best CDs of 2002” are featured in the January 2003 issue:
    —  Sony’s 4-CD set is included in the nine “5-Star Masterpieces” (five new issues & four reissues)
    —  JSP Records’ 4-CD set is listed under “4�-Star Reviews”


November 14, 2002

The Reissues section of Down Beat’s December issue features reviews of Sony’s as well as JSP’s recent 4-CD sets.
Both are on a two/thirds-page review by Ted Panken — 5 stars and 4� stars, respectively.
 



November 7, 2002
  • New items in Clive Downs’ Notated Solos Bibliography:
    —  Guitar World (2002) – “Flying Home:  Charlie Christian” – “Flying Home” (2 Oct 1939 – take A)
    —  Hal Leonard (2001) – Jazz Guitar Bible – “Seven Come Eleven” (22 Nov 1939)
    —  Mairants (2002) – The Great Jazz Guitarists, Part 1 (revised versions of 3 previously published transcriptions)
    —  Marshall (2002) – The Best of Charlie Christian (15 transcriptions w/ analyses & CD)

Go to  Solos Bibliography
 



October 28, 2002

Past Perfect released this boxed single-CD on their “Silver Line” series (Germany) sometime during the past year.
This CD has 21 tracks of often-issued Columbia studio recordings.
It’s featured on this page only because of the nice packaging.

CHARLIE CHRISTIAN WITH BENNY GOODMAN • LIONEL HAMPTON • COUNT BASIE — SEVEN COME ELEVEN

Past Perfect 205798-203

A listing of the tracks can be viewed in the Albums Index of the Discography section.

Go to  Albums Index  and scroll down to Past Perfect 205798-203
 



October 20, 2002

All the data on the Solography & Discography sections have been updated for Sony’s 4-CD set,
CHARLIE CHRISTIAN:  THE GENIUS OF THE ELECTRIC GUITAR,
on Columbia/Legacy C4K 65564.
(Sony’s promo set, AC4K 65564 has also been listed because it was widely circulated and has a
slightly different track content.)

As previously mentioned, the master and alternate takes of I Found a New Baby on disc three are incorrectly listed.
In addition, unless all previous releases and discographies are wrong, the matrix suffixes for Royal Garden Blues
(disc 2, tracks 22 & 23) and I Can’t Give You Anything But Love (disc 3, tracks 13 & 14) are reversed in the booklet.

One change was made to the matrix suffixes on this site — the five Breakfast Feud complete takes of 19 December 1940 now match the suffixes listed on the Sony set, and I have assigned suffixes (x, y, z) to the breakdown takes to more easily differntiate between the three.  Previously, the suffixes used here were based on those published in Jan Evensmo’s 1970s discography — unfortunately, none of the other discographies agreed with anyone else’s.  Sony’s new take numbers were not those originally assigned by Columbia, but they are logical and are not in conflict with Russ Connor’s discography.

As always, comments (and proof-reading help) are welcome.
 



September 24, 2002

CHARLIE CHRISTIAN:  THE GENIUS OF THE ELECTRIC GUITAR was released today
on Columbia/Legacy C4K 65564.
[see June 24, 2002, below for a brief review of Sony’s promo set]
I have no additional comments to add at this time other than to say that Sony did replace the duplicate Grand Slam on the promo set with a previously unissued alternate take.  Also, for some strange reason, they incorrectly switched the master and alternate takes of I Found a New Baby on disc three of the deluxe set (they had it right on their June advance CD set).  The packaging is aesthetically great but not very practical.  I was forewarned so I had no problem, but be careful when you first pick it up ’cause the bottom could drop out with all the contents—clue-in your friends when you show it off.

C4K 65564

A listing of the tracks on this deluxe set can be viewed in the Albums Index of the Discography section.

Go to  Albums Index  and scroll down to Columbia C4K 65564


The October issue of Guitar Player and the November issue of GuitarOne have articles on CC, interviews with guitarists, reviews of the deluxe set, and transcriptions of CC’s solos (excerpts on the former, complete Seven Come Eleven on the latter).


Charlie Christian will be inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame on October 8, 2002, at the Muskogee Civic Center in Muskogee, Oklahoma.
[CC was inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame in June of 1989 at the Greenwood Cultural Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.]
 



September 15, 2002
  • Fernando Ortiz de Urbina has graciously provided an English translation of his review of the two Definitive Records
    4-CD sets.  The review was originally published in Spanish in the July/August 2001 issue of Cuadernos de Jazz.

His review is in the CD Reviews section following my own comments on the sets.

Go to  CD Reviews

  • Last month I neglected to mention a CD, Charlie Christian:  The Original Guitar Hero  (CK 86834), that Sony has scheduled for release on the same day (24 September 2002) as their deluxe 4-CD box set.  This is a budget-priced CD containing only 8 tracks—I don’t quite understand Sony’s logic in this, but it’s got a nice cover.
              1. Seven Come Eleven
              2. Wholly Cats
              3. Good Enough To Keep (Air Mail Special) (Alternate Take)  < previously unissued >
              4. Flying Home (First Alternate Take)
              5. Boy Meets Goy (Grand Slam)
              6. Benny’s Bugle
              7. Gone With What Wind (Alternate Take)
              8. Breakfast Feud

CK 86834

A listing of the tracks can be viewed in the Albums Index of the Discography section.

Go to  Albums Index  and scroll down to Columbia CK 86834

  • Coincidently, JSP Records is also planning to release a 4-CD set on 24 September 2002,
    also with 8 Charlie Christian tracks, entitled Benny Goodman.
    A listing of the CC tracks can be viewed in the Albums Index of the Discography section.

Go to  Albums Index  and scroll down to JSP911

  • New items in Clive Downs’ Biographical (section 1) Bibliography
    —  Hoefer (2001) – Hot Box:  Thelonious Monk in the ’40s
    —  Jackson (2002) – Ralph Ellison  Emergence of Genius
    —  Murray (1994) – Never Grow Old:  Robert Johnson, Charlie Christian and the Meteorite Syndrome
    —  Proper Records (2002) – T-Bone Walker:  The Original Source
    —  Sales (2001) – I Wanted to Make It Better:  Monk at the Blackhawk
  • New items in Clive Downs’ Musical Analysis (section 3) Bibliography
    —  Stewart (1976) – A Tribute to Charlie Christian
    —  Vogel (1993) – Masters of Jazz Guitar

Go to  Biographical Bibliography
 



August 13, 2002

A recent Sony press release has apparently changed the release date of their 4-CD box set to a week later:
24 September 2002.
To whet your anticipation, I’m putting up a transcription of one of the previously unissued tracks included in the set
which is listed as UNTITLED TUNE.
Charlie Christian gets only one chorus (12 bars) but, on this breakdown take, it is an excellent solo.
The box set also includes a complete take of this tune but CC’s solo is not as good as on the breakdown.

Go to  “Untitled Tune”  transcription

There are cursory reviews of the upcoming Sony box set in the September issues of Guitar World and Jazz Times.

C4K 65564



July 29, 2002
          A special treat for Charles’ 86th Birthday Anniversary

This transcription documents a never-released blues that is simply called THE BLUES.
Charlie Christian gets two choruses on which may be his best blues solo with the sextet.

Go to  “The Blues”  transcription
 



July 11, 2002

Sony is in the process of replacing the duplicate GRAND SLAM master take in their forthcoming 4-CD box set
with an actual alternate take.
[see June 24, 2002 below]
 



July 3, 2002

JSP Records (England) is also issuing a 4-CD box set.  This one has 68 tracks with a U.S. release date of August 13, 2002.
CHARLIE CHRISTIAN:  FIRST MASTER OF THE ELECTRIC GUITAR

JSP909

  • The set is subtitled Selected Broadcasts & Jam Sessions, Remastered and contains airchecks, both Carnegie Hall concerts (October 6 & December 24, 1939), and jams (Harlem Breakfast Club & Minton’s/Monroe’s):
    —  All tracks have been previously released
    —  The set is virtually identical to the Definitive 4-CD Live set released last year (see April 7, 2001 below) but
          with one additional track:
                South of the Border  (18 Nov 39)
    —  Previously released tunes from live dates that are not included here (nor in the Definitive set) are:
                Rose Room  (28 Oct 39)
                Poor Butterfly  (28 Oct 39)
                Gone with ‘What’ Wind  (19 Feb 41)
                Stompin’ at the Savoy  (8 May 41)
                Stompin’ at the Savoy  (June 41)
    —  To my ears, the sound quality is not as good as the Definitive set

A listing of the tracks can be viewed in the Albums Index of the Discography section.

Go to  Albums Index  and scroll down to JSP909
 



June 24, 2002

September 17, 2002 has been announced as the scheduled release date for
Columbia/Legacy C4K 65564, Sony’s 24-bit, 98-track, 4-CD box set:

CHARLIE CHRISTIAN:  THE GENIUS OF THE ELECTRIC GUITAR

C4K 65564

  • The set contains all of the Columbia studio sessions that Charles recorded with the Goodman band, septet, and sextet
    and with the Metronome All Star Nine, plus the October 28, 1940 rehearsal and the March 13, 1941 jam session:
    —  Included are never-before-released tracks of:
                Breakfast Feud  (19 Dec 40)  –  2 false starts with no CC solos  (7 total tracks)
                Good Enough to Keep  (11 Jun 40)   –  2 unreleased takes with solos  (3 total)
                Grand Slam  (10 Apr 40)  –  1 additional track, but it’s the same master take  (2 total)
                I Surrender, Dear  (10 Apr 40)   –  3 additional tracks;  one alternate with solo,
                      two breakdowns with no solos  (4 total)
                Li’l Boy Love  (25 Jun 40)   –  1 alternate take with solo  (2 total)
                Poor Butterfly  (3 Apr 40)  –  1 false start, no solo  (2 total)
                The Sheik of Araby  (3 Apr 40)   –  1 alternate take with solo  (2 total)
                Six Appeal  (11 Jun 40)   –  5 additional tracks;  two alternate takes and two breakdowns with solos,
                      a false start with no solo  (6 total)
                These Foolish Things  (11 Jun 40)   –  2 additional tracks;  one alternate with CC intro and solo,
                      a false start with intro only  (3 total)
    —  Plus:
                two previously unissued takes of an untitled tune from 3 April 1940   (one of the tracks is a breakdown but it
                includes CC’s solo)
          [All of the new material is from the World Broadcasting System recordings in Hollywood,
          except for the Breakfast Feud false starts]
    —  Not included:
                the Columbia session CC recorded with Teddy Wilson and singer Eddy Howard
                an unissued breakdown of  Gone with What Draft and one of  I Can’t Give You Anything but Love

A listing of the tracks on the advance promotional set can be viewed in the Albums Index of the Discography section.

Go to  Albums Index  and scroll down to Columbia AC4K 65564
 



June 1, 2002
  • Three-page transcription of  “Stompin’ at the Savoy”  (aka “Lips Flips” & “On with Charlie Christian”)
    —  Jam session recorded at Monroe’s “Uptown House”    with 2½-chorus Charlie Christian solo

Go to  “Stompin’ at the Savoy”

Or go to  Transcriptions main page
 



May 4, 2002

Classics Records (France) is well known for reissuing jazz recordings whose copyright has expired—50 years in Europe—and a policy of releasing all of the master takes of selected jazz musicians in chronological order.  Last year the label began a similar R&B series.  The Classics catalog which began in 1990 contains almost 1300 CDs—all still in print.

The label is also commonly known as The Chronogical (sic) Classics.  “The Chronogical” was actually intended to be the first part of the CD title but is not used as such on their jazz issues.  The label chose long ago not to correct the spelling on their booklet covers.

With the release of Benny Goodman and his Orchestra: 1941, Vol. 2 a couple of weeks ago, Classics Records has now issued all of the master takes that Charlie Christian recorded with the Goodman sextet, septet, and orchestra.  Most surprising is the inclusion of a couple of tracks recorded in the Columbia studio during a quintet jam led by CC which did not include Goodman.  Several other tracks on these six CDs may not technically be masters since they were not originally issued on 78-rpm but were released over a decade later on LP:

Benny Goodman and his Orchestra: 1939, Vol. 2     Classics 1064

“STAR DUST”      2 Oct 39      (WCO 26134 A)
      Master take released on 78-rpm only as a disc-jockey promotional copy;
      released in 1951 on LP and EP.

“AC-DC CURRENT”      20 Dec 39      (WCO 26355 A)
      Master take first released in 1951 on LP and EP.

“I’M CONFESSIN’”      20 Dec 39      (WCO 26356 A)
      Rejected master, not released until 1979 on LP.

Benny Goodman and his Orchestra: 1939-1940     Classics 1098

Benny Goodman and his Orchestra: 1940     Classics 1131

“I Can’t Love You Any More”      10 Apr 40      (WCO 26739 A)
      Rejected master.  The tune was recorded again on 30 Apr 40 for release.
      (CC on rhythm guitar only—on both dates.)

“GOOD ENOUGH TO KEEP”      11 Jun 40      (WCO 26942)
      Rejected take.  The tune was recorded again on 13 Mar 41 for release
      (later issued as “Air Mail Special”).

Benny Goodman and his Orchestra: 1940-1941     Classics 1154

“BREAKFAST FEUD”      19 Dec 40      (CO 29259-1)
      Rejected master.  The tune was recorded again on 15 Jan 41 for release.

“GONE WITH WHAT DRAFT”      19 Dec 40      (CO 29261-1)
      Rejected master released only as a disc-jockey promotional copy.
      The tune was recorded again on 15 Jan 41 for release.
      (Renamed “Gilly” in 1951 for release on LP.)

Benny Goodman and his Orchestra: 1941     Classics 1202

Benny Goodman and his Orchestra: 1941, Vol. 2     Classics 1236

“BLUES IN B”      13 Mar 41

“WAITIN’ FOR BENNY”      13 Mar 41

      These two tracks were part of the jam session mentioned above—first released in 1955 on LP.
      (The complete jam was released in 1981 on LP.)

[ Not included in this series are two tunes that were issued on 78-rpm in the U.S.  These were alternate takes and correctly omitted from this Classics series:
      “FLYING HOME”      2 Oct 39      (WCO 26132 B)
            Released on V-Disc VD 731 as “Homeward Bound.”
      “WHOLLY CATS”      7 Nov 40      (CO 29027-2)
            Inadvertently released on some copies of Columbia 35810—the same catalog number as was the master take -1. ]

A listing of the CC tracks can be viewed in the Albums Index of the Discography section.

Go to  Albums Index  and scroll down to Classics
 



April 16, 2002
  • Eight-page transcription of the 12 May 1941  “Stompin’ at the Savoy”
    —  Jam session recorded at Minton’s Playhouse:
                Theme
                Three-chorus Charlie Christian solo
                Three-chorus Charlie Christian solo
                Out chorus

Go to  “Stompin’ at the Savoy”

Or go to  Transcriptions main page
 



March 28, 2002
  • New items in Clive Downs’ Biographical (section 1) Bibliography
    —  Porter (2001) – Jazz Country:  Ralph Ellison in America
    —  Sohmer (1997) – Liner notes to Jazz Band EBCD 2139-2  Camel Caravan Shows
    —  Watts (1994) – Heroism and the Black Intellectual
  • New item in Clive Downs’ Musical Analysis (section 3) Bibliography
    —  Clark (1998) – How to Play and Compose Like the World’s Greatest Guitarists

Go to  Biographical Bibliography

  • New items and revision in Clive Downs’ Notated Solos Bibliography
    —  Sokolow (1999) – “Honeysuckle Rose” (22 Nov 1939 & 19 Nov 1940)
    —  Spring (1980) – additional details on the partial transcriptions

Go to  Solos Bibliography
 



March 7, 2002

I have added some commentary to “Ad-Lib Blues” and modified the tablature to more closely reflect CC’s actual fingering.

While transcribing the new “Gone W‘W’W” last month, it reminded me of this other mid-tempo blues in C which brought me to contemplate the tabs that are up on this site.  In the past, I have been reluctant to reveal the secrets to Charles’ left hand but recently I’ve been leaning more and more towards showing that on the later-posted transcriptions.  I plan to go back to the earlier-posted xcripts and modify the tabs as time permits—and probably add some comments as well.

Go to  Ad-Lib Blues

Or go to  Transcriptions main page
 



February 27, 2002
  • Transcription of the long-lost  “Stompin’ at the Savoy”
    —  Jam session recorded 8 May 1941 at Minton’s Playhouse
    —  Released for the first-time-ever less than 4 months ago on the Masters of Jazz label
    —  Nine choruses of Charlie Christian transcribed:
                1 chorus of guitar riffs on the trumpet solo
                2-chorus guitar solo
                10 bars of guitar chords on the alto sax solo
                5 choruses of guitar stuff on the collective improv

I’ve added some comments & analysis to this transcription—at the end of the “cover sheet.”  I’m really not very fond of technical analyses so it’s mostly just comments.  I believe that the transcriptions themselves provide pretty much all of the analysis that’s needed:  musicians can figure out what CC is playing from the standard notation;  the chord names directly above the tablature indicate where Charles is changing chords on his solo;  and guitarists can get a good idea from the tab what he is doing on the fretboard.  A bunch of long, drawn-out scholarly verbiage is not all that necessary.

Go to  “Stompin’ at the Savoy”

Or go to  Transcriptions main page


  • CD review of the Encore CD  A Tour de Force:  The Small Groups—Live!  described below (February 16, 2002)

The review is in the CD Reviews section:

Go to  CD Reviews
 



February 16, 2002
  • A couple of months ago, Encore Records released a double-CD with two never-before-released CC tracks
    from the “America in Swingtime” broadcast of February 19, 1941.  Unfortunately, only one of the two tunes has a CC solo.

    —  “Gone with ‘What’ Wind” has a 2-chorus blues solo equal to his other solos on that tune + the usual riffs
    —  “The Sheik of Araby” has CC on rhythm guitar only
    —  There are two other CC tracks here that have been previously issued (although the liner notes say they have not):
                “AC-DC Current” (2 Dec 39) & “Gone With What Draft” (24 Feb 41)
    —  plus 34 other tracks by various BG small groups recorded live

              Benny Goodman — A Tour de Force:  The Small Groups—Live!  1937-1972  Encore 7001

Go to  Albums Index  to see track listing (scroll down to Encore)

Go to  CD Reviews  for a review of the four tracks
 



December 25, 2001
  • More Photos:  added photo # 32 and the two certificates & five photos near the bottom of the page

Go to  Photo Gallery


  • Transcription of the  “Tea for Two”  intro & two solos
    —  8-bar chord intro
    —  two 32-bar choruses on the first solo
    —  one 32-bar chorus on the second solo
    —  from the Harlem Breakfast Club jam session in Minneapolis
    —  the only available recording of Charles on this tune
    —  originally published in Solo Flight:  The Charlie Christian Newsletter # 3, now with revised tablature

Go to  “Tea for Two”

Or go to  Transcriptions main page


  • A new section has been added to this site:  Book-Video Reviews
    Originally published in the  Solo Flight  newsletters,
    the reviews have been revised and updated and are now consolidated on one page.

Go to  Book-Video Reviews


  • A most curious Charlie Christian CD was released earlier this month:
                Radioland • 1939-1941  on Fuel 2000 Records  302 061 167 2
    Judging from the title, I expected a bunch of radio broadcasts—there’s not a single aircheck on it.
    —  16 tracks with a total time of 68:50
                6 studio takes
                5 tracks from jam sessions
                4 tunes from a concert
                1 studio rehearsal
    —  includes two tunes on which CC does not solo
    —  three tracks featuring vocals
    —  no new items that haven’t been released on CD before
    Weird selections for a compilation, but it has good sound,
    the speed seems to have been adjusted to the correct pitch,
    and it includes a rare issue of the complete “Oh, Lady Be Good.”
    (Some on-line-store ads list four titles that are not on the CD and don’t list two that are.)

Go to  Albums Index  to see track listing (scroll down to Fuel 2000)
 



December 20, 2001
  • CD review on the recently released Masters of Jazz Charlie Christian • Volume 9
    —  includes 3 tracks that have never been released before
    —  many other very rare recordings
    —  20-page booklet in French and English with full discography, five photos
    —  total time of 1 hour, 16 minutes, 55 seconds on 17 tracks

The review is in the CD Reviews section:

Go to  CD Reviews


Volume 9 is available at:

Clifford Records
10 rue du Faisan
67000 Strasbourg, France
Tel : 33 (0)3 88 36 47 07
Fax : 33 (0)3 88 36 88 47
<jazzclifford@aol.com>
 



December 15, 2001
  • New items in Clive Downs’ Biographical (section 1) Bibliography
    —  Driggs (1978) – Liner notes to Jazz Archives LP JA-42  Lester Young and Charlie Christian 1939-1940
    —  Ellison (1995) – Living with Music
    —  Ellison (2001) – My Strength Comes from Louis Armstrong
    —  Patoski (1993) – Caught in the Crossfire
    —  Perry (1978) – Noel Boggs
    —  Ponzio (1995) – Blue MonkPortrait de Thelonious Monk
    —  Scanlon (1996) – The Joy of JazzSwing Era, 1939-1947
  • New item in Clive Downs’ Musical Analysis (section 3) Bibliography
    —  Finkleman (unpublished) – The Style of Charlie Christian in the Context of His Contemporaries

Go to  Biographical Bibliography

  • New items and revision in Clive Downs’ Notated Solos Bibliography
    —  Guitar Player (April 2000) – “Rose Room” (2 Oct 1939)
    —  Hal Leonard (2000) – “Seven Come Eleven” (22 Nov 1939)
    —  Marshall (2000) – “Honeysuckle Rose” (22 Nov 1939)
    —  Spring (1990) – revised details on partial transcriptions

Go to  Solos Bibliography
 



November 9, 2001
  • The Masters of Jazz  Charlie Christian • Volume 9 • 1939-1941  was finally released last week (in France)
    —  Contains 17 tracks that were omitted from the initial eight volumes
    —  Includes three tracks – two airchecks and a jam – that have never been previously released in any format

Complete track listing can be viewed in the Albums Index of the Discography section.

Go to  Albums Index  and scroll down to Masters of Jazz MJCD 189
 



November 7, 2001
  • Transcription of  “These Foolish Things”  intro & solo
    —  4-bar chord intro
    —  8-bar bridge solo at a slow tempo
    —  first 6 bars of the solo are embellishments on the melody
    —  studio recording with the sextet – in Eb
    —  the only available recording of Charles on this tune

Go to  “These Foolish Things”

Or go to  Transcriptions main page
 



October 28, 2001
  • Transcription of  “On the Alamo”  solo
    —  exquisite 8-bar solo in Eb at a relaxed, swingin’ slow tempo
    —  a studio recording with the septet
    —  the only available recording of Charles on this tune

Go to  “On the Alamo”

Or go to  Transcriptions main page
 



October 21, 2001

Added some more features to the Tune Title Index
—  Time & tempo of each tune, set to true pitch
—  Key of each tune and a brief entry on location & personnel

Go to  Tune Title Index
 



September 27, 2001
  • New items in Clive Downs’ Biographical (section 1) Bibliography
    —  Bryant (1998) – Central Avenue Sounds:  Jazz in L.A.
    —  Dahl (1999) – Morning Glory:  Biography of Mary Lou Williams
    —  Firestone (1993) – Swing, Swing, Swing:  Benny Goodman
    —  Greenhough (1947) – T-Bone Walker’s Story in His Own Words
    —  Patrick (1983) – Al Tinney, Monroe’s Uptown House, Emergence of Modern Jazz in Harlem
    —  Shepherd (2001) – “Jazz Information” periodical 1939-1940
  • New items in Clive Downs’ Musical Analysis (section 3) Bibliography
    —  Baker (1982) – Development and Roles of Guitar in Jazz to 1950
    —  Birkett (1994) – Inner Mechanisms of Jazz Improvisation
    —  Denny (1995) – Influence of Charlie Christian on Four Modern Jazz Guitarists
    —  Schwab (1998) – Charlie Christian and the Development of the Electric Guitar

Go to  Biographical Bibliography

  • New items in Clive Downs’ Notated Solos Bibliography
    —  Birkett (1994) – details two transcriptions
    —  Denny (1995) – details one transcription
    —  Schwab (1998) – details seven transcriptions

Go to  Solos Bibliography


  • Updated the Links

Go to Links
 



September 7, 2001
  • The Masters of Jazz  Charlie Christian • Volume 9 • 1939-1941  is now scheduled for release in October 2001.
    —  Contains 17 tracks that were omitted from the initial eight volumes.
    —  Includes three tracks – two airchecks and a jam – that have never been previously released in any format.

Complete track listing can be viewed in the Albums Index of the Discography section.

Go to  Albums Index  and scroll down to Masters of Jazz MJCD 189


  • Three days ago, Stardust Records released a CD entitled
    Charlie Christian with the Benny Goodman Sextet:  The Radio Broadcasts 1939-1941
    —  All tracks have been previously issued on both LP and CD.
          (It’s virtually a duplication of Archives of Jazz CD 380123, from which it was taken, minus one track.)
    —  The title implies much more than the 15 tracks (47 minutes) it contains.
          (That’s only 20% of the recorded broadcasts.)
    —  Initially, it appears to have been very nicely packaged but that’s not the case.  First, you’ll need a magnifying glass
                to read the liner notes.
          Doesn’t matter much – there’s not much track info here.  Only five of the broadcasts are dated and
                two of those dates are wrong.
    —  A sticker on the wrapper says that it’s re-mastered 24-bit on a gold disc, but I don’t hear any sonic
                improvement whatsoever.

Complete track listing can be viewed in the Albums Index of the Discography section.

Go to  Albums Index  and scroll down to Stardust CLP 1150-2
 



August 31, 2001

In anticipation of the impending release of the Masters of Jazz Charlie Christian, Volume 9
posted info (but not the transcription yet)
on the 8 May 1941 version of  “Stompin’ at the Savoy” recorded at Minton’s Playhouse.
—  this jam session has never before been released in any format
—  the transcription pages will be added to this site when the CD is released

Go to  “Stompin’ at the Savoy”  data sheet
 



July 29, 2001
          Charlie Christian’s 85th Birthday Anniversary
  • Transcription of  “Haven’t Named It Yet”  from the second Lionel Hampton recording session
    —  starts with sixteen-bar solo – all in Db swingin’ at a fast tempo
    —  then a trumpet solo on the bridge
    —  the last eight bars change chords at each measure – a great CC entrance, with diminished-7 runs in a couple of places

Go to  “Haven’t Named It Yet”  transcription


  • More Photos  (photos # 61-65)

Go to  Photo Gallery


  • New items in Clive Downs’ Biographical Bibliography
    —  Boyd (1998) – The Jazz of the Southwest:  An Oral History of Western Swing
    —  Centlivre (2000) – “Charlie Was Something”:  An Interview with Jerry Jerome
    —  Obrecht (2000) – Saunders King
    —  Shaughnessy (1993) – Les Paul:  An American Original

Go to  Biographical Bibliography

  • One new item in Clive Downs’ Solos Bibliography
    —  Wise (2001) – Great Jazz and Blues Solos for Guitar – reprint of “Solo Flight” (take 1)

Go to  Solos Bibliography


  • Catfish Records released a Charlie Christian CD this month:  When Lights Are Low
    —  no new items – somewhat similar to The Genius of the Electric Guitar CD on Columbia
    —  20 tracks with good sound
    —  all tracks recorded in Columbia studios plus one Victor

Go to  Albums Index  to see track listing
 



June 1, 2001
  • The Ida Cox sessions were released recently on the Document Records label
    —  11 tracks from the two 31 October 1939 sessions
    —  replaces the out-of-print Affinity CD
    —  with the best sound yet

A review of this reissue is in the CD Reviews section.

Go to  CD Reviews

Complete track listing can be viewed in the Albums Index of the Discography section.

Go to  Albums Index  and scroll down to Document DOCD-5651


Clive Downs has added some more entries to the Bibliographies:

  • Two new items in the Solos Bibliography
    —  Chapman  (2000) – 16 bars from take 1 of “Solo Flight.”
    —  Guitar World  (2001) – four-bar excerpts from two takes of “Breakfast Feud.”

Go to  Solos Bibliography

  • Several more items in the Biographical Bibliography
    —  Bechtel  (1998) – “Brad’s Page of Steel” (at internet site).
    —  Callendar & Cohen  (1985) – “Unfinished Dream:  The Musical World of Red Callendar.”
    —  Carr  (1998) – “Miles Davis:  The Definitive Biography.”
    —  Centlivre  (2001) – “Revisiting Charlie Christian” (at internet site).
    —  Gillespie & Fraser  (1982) – “To Be of Not to Bop:  The Autobiography of Dizzy Gillespie.”
    —  Hampton & Haskins  (1989) – “Hamp:  An Autobiography.”
    —  Oliphant  (1996) – “Texan Jazz.”
    —  O’Neal  (1972) – Living Blues.
    —  Shaw  (1977) – “52nd St.:  The Street of Jazz.”
    —  Shipton  (1999) – “Groovin’ High:  The Life of Dizzy Gillespie.”
    —  Sudhalter  (1999) – “Lost Chords:  White Musicians and Their Contribution to Jazz.”
    —  Townsend  (1976) – “San Antonio Rose:  The Life and Music of Bob Wills.”

Go to  Biographical Bibliography   (section 1)


  • Modified left-hand fingering on transcription of  “Good Morning Blues”
    —  used a much cleaner and clearer recording this time

Go to  “Good Morning Blues”
 



May 8, 2001
  • Transcription of the never-released version of  “Stompin’ at the Savoy”
    —  16 bars + 6 bars of the bridge before CC’s solo is accidentally cut off
    —  from the “Monte Proser Dance Carnival” at Madison Square Garden in June 1941
    —  this aircheck has never been released in any format

Go to  “Stompin’ at the Savoy”

Or go to  Transcriptions main page
 



April 7, 2001
  • Two 4-CD sets were released in mid-March on the Definitive Records label at 24-bit resolution
    —  four CDs on Charlie Christian—Complete Studio Recordings
    —  four CDs on Charlie Christian—Complete Live Recordings
    —  a total of 7 hours, 51½ minutes on 140 tracks
    —  at a bargain price!

A review of this tandem is in the CD Reviews section.

Go to  CD Reviews

Complete track listings for both sets can be viewed in the Albums Index of the Discography section.

Go to  Albums Index  and scroll down to Definitive DRCD11176 and DRCD11177


Clive Downs has added more entries to the Bibliographies:

  • Two new items in the Solos Bibliography
    —  GuitarOne  (2001)  –  5-page magazine article with a good CC solo transcription of “Solo Flight.”
    —  Sadie & Tyrrel  (2001)  –  only has 3 previously published fragments of “Breakfast Feud.”

Go to  Solos Bibliography

  • Several items in the Biographical Bibliography
    —  Collette, Buddy  (2000)  –  “Jazz Generations:  A Life in American Music and Society”
    —  Crow, Bill  (1990)  –  “Jazz Anecdotes”
    —  Ellison, Ralph  (1986)  –  “Going to the Territory”
    —  Epstein, Daniel  (1999)  –  “Nat King Cole”
    —  Feather, Leonard  (1986)  –  “The Jazz Years:  Earwitness to an Era”
    —  Lester, James  (1994)  –  “Too Marvelous for Words:  The Life and Genius of Art Tatum”
    —  Waksman, Steve  (1999)  –  “Playing with Sound:  Charlie Christian, the Electric Guitar, and the Swing Era”

Go to  Biographical Bibliography   (section 1)


Also linked to the new Charlie Christian Discussion Group set up by Garry Hansen.

Go to  The Charlie Christian Discussion Group
 



March 2, 2001
  • Transcriptions of both versions of  “Poor Butterfly”
    —  8-bar solos in the key of Ab
    —  one is from a studio session in Hollywood on April 3, 1940
    —  the other is a radio broadcast from the Cocoanut Grove in L.A. on April 27, 1940
    —  Charles takes a solo on the ‘A’ section in each version
    —  the aircheck has never been released in any format

Go to  Poor Butterfly – studio take   or   Poor Butterfly – unissued aircheck

Or go to  Transcriptions main page
 



February 25, 2001

A new section has been added to this site:  The Spliced Recordings
Originally published in the 1997  Solo Flight:  The Charlie Christian Newsletter # 3,
the charts have been revised and updated and are now more accessible.

Go to  The Spliced Recordings
 



February 18, 2001

Definitive Records will be releasing two Charlie Christian 4-CD sets soon:

Complete Studio Recordings  (DRCD 11176)  and  Complete Live Recordings  (DRCD 11177).

Of the first set, Definitive says:  “Great first time tribute to the genius of electric guitar with all his session dates.”
Of the second:  “All the concert and radio appearances of the genius of electric guitar.”

Good News:  Definitive’s releases are 24-bit remasters.
Bad News:  The first one is subtitled “Columbia, RCA Victor, Vocalion & Blue Note Master Takes” so it appears it’ll include only the master takes.
 



February 7, 2001

A recent update to the Discography included a 24-bit Japanese CD reissue from Sony Music Entertainment of
Charlie Christian:  The Genius of the Electric Guitar that, because of the exceptional sonics, I should have
commented on at the time.
I have now added it to the CD Reviews.

Go to  CD Reviews
 



January 1, 2001
  • Transcription of  a blues with a septet that includes Lester Young – “Ad-Lib Blues”
    —  12-bar blues in the key of C
    —  from a rehearsal at the Columbia Records studio
    —  Charles’ two-chorus solo starts off this blues
    —  transcription includes a false start in the key of Bb

Go to  Ad-Lib Blues

  • Two items on T-Bone Walker’s friendship with Charles, in the Biographical Bibliography
    —  Dance (1997) – “Stormy Monday:  The T-Bone Walker Story”
    —  Santelli (1994) – “The Big Book of Blues:  A Biographical Encyclopedia # 148;

Go to  Biographical Bibliography (section 1)

  • A dozen updates to the Discography  (mostly recent CD releases – no previously unissued tracks)

Go to Discography

  • Added a link to the “Swing & Jump Blues Guitar” tutorial site

Go to Links
 



December 10, 2000
  • Transcription of  another excellent blues with the Kansas City Six – “Good Morning Blues”
    —  slow 12-bar blues in the key of F
    —  from the “Spirituals to Swing” Concert at Carnegie Hall
    —  Charles’ two-chorus solo again follows Lester Young’s solo

Go to  Good Morning Blues
 



November 2, 2000

Clive Downs has added three more entries to the Bibliographies:

  • Two new items in the Solos Bibliography
    —  Kuboki (1995) – 85-page book with 18 very good CC solo transcriptions...some of the best published to date:
                Recommended.
    —  Richardson (1996) – only a two-bar excerpt.

Go to  Solos Bibliography

  • One item in the Biographical Bibliography
    —  Oliphant (1993) – 36-page article on “Eddie Durham and the Texas Contribution to Jazz History”

Go to  Biographical Bibliography   (section 1)
 



October 23, 2000
  • Transcriptions of both takes of another blues in the key of Eb“Profoundly Blue” – a slow 12-bar blues
    —  from the famous “Profoundly Blue” session by the Edmond Hall Celeste Quartet, for Blue Note Records
    —  Guitar four-bar chord intro along with Israel Crosby’s bass
    —  Charles’ three-chorus solos on acoustic guitar
    —  Since this is essentially a guitar/bass duet, the bass lines are also included on these transcriptions

Go to  Profoundly Blue – master take   or   Profoundly Blue – alternate take

Or go to  Transcriptions main page

  • Routine updates to the Discography  (a dozen recent CD releases – no previously unissued tracks)

Go to Discography
 



September 2, 2000
  • Added transcription of another blues – “Paging the Devil” – a slow 12-bar blues in the key of Eb
    —  “From Spirituals to Swing” Concert at Carnegie Hall on Christmas Eve 1939
    —  Charles’ two-chorus solo with the Kansas City Six
          (follows Lester Young’s 3-chorus solo;  precedes Buck Clayton’s 2-chorus solo)

Go to  Paging the Devil
 



August 19, 2000
  • Added transcription of  “Grand Slam” – a 12-bar boogie
    —  eight-bar theme
    —  two-chorus blues solo

Go to  Grand Slam
 



July 29, 2000
          Charlie Christian’s 84th Birthday Anniversary
  • Seven-page transcription of the  “Honeysuckle Rose”  ( “Up on Teddy’s Hill” )  jam from Minton’s Playhouse
    —  a four-chorus solo that starts out very relaxed but quickly builds up a full head of steam –
          wonderful to listen to, transcribe, or play
    —  plus two choruses of riffs behind a trumpet solo
    —  and the swingin’est solo break that you’ll ever hear, on the out-chorus bridge –
          explosive entrance, followed by unexpected phrasing

Go to  Honeysuckle Rose (Up on Teddy’s Hill)  –  May 1941

  • More Photos  (photos # 56-60)

Go to Photo Gallery

  • New item in Clive Downs’ Solos Bibliography
    —  Finkelman (1997) – a 30-page analysis of CC’s solos, with transcription excerpts from 32 different takes

Go to  Solos Bibliography

  • Routine updates to the Discography  (recent releases – no previously unissued tracks)

Go to Discography

There will be a three-hour evening Charlie Christian Birthday Broadcast Special today on WKCR-FM (New York) 89.9
including comprehensive musical and biographical commentary.
A five-hour special will be broadcast the following afternoon:     http://www.columbia.edu/cu/wkcr/listen.html
 



June 26, 2000

There’s a very nice four-page biographical piece by Dan Morgenstern— “Charlie Christian:  Swing to Bop and Beyond” —
in the August 2000 issue of Jazz Times.  Includes a couple of photographs.
Jerry Jerome is quoted as having been recorded at a jam with CC in Milwaukee.  That actually occurred at the
Harlem Breakfast Club in Minneapolis, the hometown of Jerry Newhouse who recorded the session
after a Goodman band gig in St. Paul.


In the same issue, there’s also a George Benson and Russell Malone interview where CC is mentioned a few times.
Some of the quotes:

GB:  “...the fewer [fingers] you use, the more fluid you are.  Django Reinhardt was the greatest technician, and he only had two fingers he could use on his left hand.  Wes Montgomery was a three-finger player...”
< CC also was a two-finger soloist;  usually three-fingered on chords >

RM:  “...You’ve got to look at the guitar for what it is.  You don’t blow into it, you caress it...”
GB:  “Charlie Christian got us into that, but he was a rare bird, like Django, and everybody can’t do that.
The cats who can play with that speed and swing that hard are going to be rare dudes...”
 



June 19, 2000
  • Added a couple of items to the Links

Go to Links

  • Routine updates to the Discography  (recent releases, but with no previously unissued tracks)

Go to Discography
 



May 8, 2000
  • Added two sextet versions of  “Honeysuckle Rose”
    from the “Spirituals to Swing” Carnegie Hall concert and an aircheck

Go to  Honeysuckle Rose – 24 Dec 1939   or   Honeysuckle Rose – 19 Nov 1940

  • Added the following items to Clive Downs’ Solos Bibliography
    —  Mairants (1996)
    —  Regent Music (1944)

Go to  Solos Bibliography

  • Added the following item to Clive Downs’ Biographical Bibliography  (section 3 - Musical Analysis)
    —  Johnzon & Oberg (1997)

Go to  Biographical Bibliography
 



April 3, 2000
  • Couldn't resist putting up transcriptions of CC’s remaining two versions of  “Rose Room”

Go to Rose Room – 28 Oct 1939  or  Rose Room – 6 Jun 1941

  • Updated the Links

Go to Links
 



March 13, 2000
  • Added Photos 44, 52-55

Go to Photo Gallery

  • Replaced Photo 38 with a much better reproduction
  • Also added some narrative to the main Transcription page

Go to Transcriptions
 



February 29, 2000

Revised the transcription of “Topsy” using a much cleaner recording than I had used previously

Go to Topsy
 



January 20, 2000

Clive Downs updated the Bibliographies:

  • Added the following items to the Solos Bibliography
    —  ten Boske (1989)
    —  Colombo (1994)
    —  Down Beat (1978)

Go to Solos Bibliography

  • Added the following items to the Musical Analysis Bibliography
    —  Betts (1996)
    —  ten Boske (1989)
    —  Colombo (1994)

Go to Musical Analysis Bibliography
 



December 25, 1999

A special gift for Christmas:

  • Added a transcription of Charlie Christian’s  4-chorus, pre-rehearsal jam on  “Rose Room”

Go to Rose Room – 13 Mar 1941
 



December 20, 1999

For the First Anniversary of this site:

  • Added transcriptions of CC’s two most popular versions of  “Rose Room”

Go to Rose Room – 2 Oct 1939  or  Rose Room – 9 Oct 1939

  • Added a couple of items to the Solos Bibliography

Go to Solos Bibliography
 



November 13, 1999
  • Added a two-page transcription — the five-chorus solo of  “Blues in B”

Go to Blues in B

  • Updated the bibliographies

Go to Bibliographies
 



November 7, 1999

    Minor changes.

  • Split the Album Index into 7 sections (previously 3 sections) — the files had become slow/difficult to work with due to their large size
  • Split the Tune Title Index into 5 sections (previously 3 sections) — these also had become very unwieldy
  • Minor, but labor intensive, maintenance on the Discography — none of the data was changed


October 16, 1999

Charlie Christian’s complete three-chorus solo on “Oh, Lady Be Good” is finally available!!!

On August 24, 1999, Vanguard Records released, for the first time, the complete From Spirituals to Swing concerts of 1938 and 1939.
Besides 23 previously unissued tracks, the set contains the first-time-ever issue of the complete “Oh, Lady Be Good.”
All previous issues had edited out CC’s third chorus — actually, from the 32nd bar of the second chorus to the 31st bar of the third.
Unfortunately, the 8-bar piano intro by Basie is now missing.

  • Updated the discography with a dozen new items — including the 3-CD box set release, From Spirituals to Swing, Vanguard 169/71-2

Go to Discography
 



September 25, 1999
  • Added five more photographs — photo numbers 46 thru 50

Go to Photo Gallery

  • Added two transcriptions — both takes of  “I Found a New Baby”

Go to Take 1  or  Go to Take 2

  • Updated discography — including a recent CD release from Definitive Records in Andorra 

Go to Definitive CD
 



August 25, 1999
  • Added Announcements, News & Updates section
  • Made minor changes to the “Dinah” solo tab


July 29, 1999

Charlie Christian’s 83rd Birthday Anniversary:

  • Added CD Reviews section
  • Two more transcriptions:  “Star Dust” and “Ida”
  • More photos
  • Updated discography


June 23, 1999
  • Added two more transcriptions:  “Honeysuckle Rose” and “Dinah”
  • Added five more photos


May 12, 1999
  • Added Links page


April 17, 1999
  • Added two more transcriptions:  “Solo Flight”   (both studio takes)
  • Updated discography


March 17, 1999
  • Added more photos


February 25, 1999
  • Added more photos


January 27, 1999
  • Added Transcriptions section — transcription of  “Topsy”  (“Swing to Bop”)


January 14, 1999
  • Streamlined Photo Gallery to load faster


December 12, 1998

Launched  Solo Flight:  The Charlie Christian Web Site

  • Solography
  • Discography
  • Photo Gallery
  • Bibliographies
  • Newsletters


November 23, 1998

Initiated home page.
Target date for main site activation:  December 7, 1998.
 


Home ]

[ News/Updates ] Solography ] Discography ] Chronology ] Photo Gallery ] Transcriptions ] Bibliographies ] CD Reviews ] Book-Video Reviews ] SplicedTracks ] Links ]


 

 


This Web site is designed and managed by

LEOVALDES

soloflight.cc

• optimized for 1024x768 window-size viewing •

Last updated on 09/25/16

Copyright © LeoValdes 1998

All text and images in this site protected by copyright laws.
No text or images (including transcriptions) may be copied, reused, or altered without written permission from the owner of this site.