DB Hall of Fame



DB Hall of Fame



OCTOBER  28,  1940     Monday Columbia Recording Studios,  NYC

  12-BAR  BLUES Key of C Quarter Note = 156 Time: 3:22
  11  CHORUSES     (11th chorus cuts off at 10 bars):
    2 chor  –  CC (unaccomp on 1st 4 bars of each chorus)
(sax riffs on last 8 bars)
    2 chor  –  trumpet (unaccomp on 1st 4 bars of each chorus)
    2 chor  –  tenor sax (unaccomp on 1st 4 bars of each chorus)
    2 chor  –  piano (unaccomp on 1st 4 bars)
    1 chor  –  tenor sax (riffs)     (over piano comping)
(CC joins in on last 2 bars)
    1 chor  –  tenor sax & CC (riffs)
  10 bars  –  CC (riffs)    (fade-out)
< cut off >
False Start   Preceding  Ad-Lib Blues
  8 bars Key of Bb Quarter Note = 212 Time: 0:13
    4 bars  –  piano (Intro)     (CC off tempo in background)
    4 bars  –  CC
< false start >

  LESTER YOUNG tenor sax
  BUCK CLAYTON trumpet
  JO JONES drums

Issued Recordings:
  [ LP ] Cicala BLJ 8021
    Jazz Document va-7997
  [ CD ] Definitive DRCD11176
    Dreyfus Jazz FDM 36715-2
    Frémeaux FA 210
    Frémeaux FA 218
    Fuel 2000 302 061 755 2
    Jazz Classics JZCL-5005
    Masters of Jazz MJCD 44
    Masters of Jazz MJCD 9004
    Vintage Jazz Classics VJC-1021-2
  The releases listed above contain the false start
followed by
“Ad-Lib Blues” on the same track
  [ CD ] Columbia/Legacy AC4K 65564 (disc 2, track 3)
    Columbia/Legacy C4K 65564 (disc 2, track 3)
    Sony/Legacy 93035 (disc 2, track 3)
  The false start on these three CDs is on a separate track
listed as 
“Tune Up & Blues”  on  (disc 4, track 15)  of all three CDs
  “Ad-Lib Blues” only  (no false start):
  [ LP ] Jazz Archives JA-6
    Jazz Archives JA-42
  [ CD ] Archives of Jazz 380106 2
    Archives of Jazz 389106 2
    ASV AJA 5176
    BD Jazz JZBD022
    Blue Moon BMCD 1006
    Definitive DRCD11116
    Fuel 2000 302 061 167 2
    Golden Stars GSS 5461
    Jazz Greats MC 027
    Le Chant du Monde 274 1448.49
    Le Chant du Monde 274 1459.60
    Masters of Jazz R2CD 8004
    Membran 232094
    Membran 232568
    Mosaic MD4-239
    Music Memoria 87998 2
    Primo / Proper PRMCD 6092
    Proper P1130
    Proper P1489
    Proper PROPERBOX 8
    Proper PROPERBOX 98
    Proper / musisoft EMCD 21
    Warner Music France 3007-2

Composed by: Charlie Christian - Lester Young
© VALDÉS 01/01/01



First Page:          Guitar Solo

Second Page:    Riffs  &  False Start (“Tune Up & Blues”)



“Ad-Lib Blues” is a classic—with one of Charlie Christian’s great blues solos and one by Lester Young comparable to CC’s.

After a three-month summer break in 1940, Benny Goodman was trying out different personnel to augment himself and Charles in a new combo.  At this rehearsal in the Columbia Studios, none other than Prez himself participated along with Count Basie and Buck Clayton, all of whom solo on this medium-tempo blues.  Freddie Green, Walter Page, and Jo Jones round out the nonpareil, all-star rhythm section.  BG prudently sat this one out.

CC starts the proceedings unaccompanied for the first four bars.  The rhythm section joins in for the last eight of the chorus, then drops out for the first four bars of the next chorus.  This time the tenor sax joins the rhythm section on the last eight bars with some riffs behind Charles.

CC’s entire solo is exquisite.  Very melodic, though bluesy, and perfectly structured with each phrase leading ideally, almost inevitably, into the next.  He lays way behind the beat on some of his upbeat notes, placing them just shy of falling on the downbeat.  The highlight of the solo comes at mm 15-17 where he drops from the high to the low frets in the middle of his C7 phrase.  After the climax, CC takes it out with some of his familiar blues licks.  The Blues!

Buck follows with a solo, then Prez, then Basie, each with two choruses—every solo chorus starts with a four-bar break except for the second piano chorus.  The next two choruses get some Young riffs, presently joined by CC.  The final chorus fades out after ten bars with Charles riffing by himself over the rhythm section.


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