DB Hall of Fame

SOLO  FLIGHT

THE  CHARLIE  CHRISTIAN  LEGACY

DB Hall of Fame


 

 

AC-DC CURRENT
 
Aircheck
 
OCTOBER  14,  1939     Saturday “CAMEL CARAVAN”
NBC Radio Network / WEAF
Radio City Studios,  NYC
 

 
  4-BARS  +  8-BARS  “BLUES” Key of   G Quarter Note =   198 Time:   2:25
 
 
  MC:   “Now it’s time for the famous Goodman sextet.  Ready, Benny?”
  Goodman:   “The other day the boys were fooling around with some stray chords and we cooked up a tune
  but we didn’t have a title.  Since we have two electric instruments in the sextet, the guitar and the vibraphone,
  we decided to call it ‘AC and DC Current’.”
  MC:   “Turn on the juice, Benny.  Turn on the juice.”
 
 
    4  bars  –  CC Intro (unaccompanied)
    8  bars  –  CC  &  ensemble Theme Riffs
 
    4  bars  –  CC   (unaccompanied)
    8  bars  –  CC  &  ensemble Theme Riffs
 
      4  bars  –  vibes (unaccompanied)
      8  bars  –  clarinet;  vibes riffs
 
      4  bars  –  vibes (unaccompanied)
      8  bars  –  clarinet;  vibes riffs
 
      4  bars  –  clarinet (unaccompanied)
      8  bars  –  clarinet;  vibes riffs
 
      4  bars  –  clarinet (unaccompanied)
      8  bars  –  clarinet;  vibes riffs
 
      4  bars  –  bass (w/ drums on last bar)
      8  bars  –  clarinet;  vibes riffs
 
    4  bars  –  CC (unaccompanied)
      8  bars  –  clarinet;  vibes riffs
      8  bars  –  clarinet;  vibes riffs
 
    8  bars  –  CC  &  ensemble Theme Riffs
    8  bars  –  CC  &  ensemble Theme Riffs
 
 

 
Personnel:
 
  Benny Goodman Sextet
  CHARLIE CHRISTIAN Guitar
  BENNY GOODMAN clarinet
  LIONEL HAMPTON vibes
  FLETCHER HENDERSON piano
  ARTIE BERNSTEIN bass
  NICK FATOOL drums
 
 

Composed by: Charlie Christian - Lionel Hampton
 
©   VALDÉS   7/4/18


 

Transcription Page:     AC-DC Current  —  14 October 1939

 



C&A:

The sextet treats this piece similarly on all its renditions with little space for proper solos.  Mostly four-bar breaks with the theme repeated three times and short solo statements sprinkled here and there.  It’s a slightly-modified blues that often wells up into a boogie beat.

All five recordings of AC-DC Current start out with the same guitar intro without noticeable variation.  Charlie Christian incorporated this intro sequence into his solos on a few other tunes.

The first guitar solo on the first three versions are effectually analogous.  This four-bar break follows immediately after the initial theme and may be of keen interest to guitarists in the interplay between the twelfth fret and open string;  and in the variation in detail between the three samples.  At this first guitar break, the studio take contains what some would consider the only bona fide CC solo on AC-DC Current.

On the next guitar break, with the exception of pre-bent-note scales on the initial version of the tune, beginning with the Nov 27th rendition the solos all contain the same double-stop accentuations where Charles bends the lower note.  Comparable to those he played on his intro and the out chorus on Shivers earlier in the month.

A unison break by guitar and clarinet is introduced on the later studio version which, incidentally, was not originally released – not until over a decade later, on EP.  The second half of the sequence is a familiar CC run.  The order of appearance of the double-stop and the unison readings are reversed on the final rendering.

A novel Christian-Hampton composition presented with much jubilation but not the sextet’s best outing.  Goodman seems to have been fond of it while Hampton was in the sextet.  Still, it’s good to have a sampling of CC’s unique twelfth-fret / open-string interplay.

All but the last recording of this tune took place in New York City within a three-month period.  The last one was performed at the end their four-month tour of the West Coast;  after that date on Santa Catalina Island the band would take a four-month hiatus before regrouping back East at their home base.

 
  AC-DC Current  1 14 Oct 1939 “Camel Caravan”
       
  AC-DC Current  2 27 Nov 1939 Waldorf-Astoria
       
  AC-DC Current  3 2 Dec 1939 “Camel Caravan”
       
  AC-DC Current  4 20 Dec 1939 WCO 26355 A
       
  AC-DC Current  5 30 Jun 1940 Santa Catalina


 
Issued Recordings:
 
  [ LP ] Elec KV-106 (side A, track 5)
    Spook Jazz SPJ 6602 (side A, track 5)
    Windmill WMD 196 (side B, track 4)
 
  [ CD ] Collectors’ Choice CCM-392-2 (track 21)
    Definitive DRCD11177 (disc 1, track 11)
    Fuel 2000 302 061 755 2 (track 7)
    Jazz Band EBCD 2138-2 (track 6)
    JSP Records JSP909 (disc 1, track 11)
    Masters of Jazz MJCD 24 (track 16)
    Masters of Jazz MJCD 9004 (disc 1, track 16)
    Mr. Music MMCD-7040 (track 8)
    Proper P1491 (track 8)
    Proper PROPERBOX 98 (disc 3, track 8)
    Suisa JZCD 379 (track 3)
    Uptown UPCD 27.63 (track 7)
 
 

 



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