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 B 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

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—incorporating 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.

  LISTEN   Guitar Solo / Riffs:

There’s also that false start that’s sometimes appended preceding Ad-Lib Blues on some releases and was labeled “Tune-Up & Blues” in Columbia’s guitar-amp box … Listen.


Issued Recordings:
  [ LP ] Cicala / Durium BLJ 8021 (disc B, track 2)
    Jazz Document va-7997 (disc A, track 1)
  [ CD ] Definitive DRCD11176 (disc 4, track 3)
    Dreyfus Jazz FDM 36715-2 (track 2)
    Frémeaux FA 210 (disc 1, track 7)
    Frémeaux FA 218 (disc 1, track 15)
    Fuel 2000 302 061 755 2 (track 11)
    Jazz Classics JZCL-5005 (disc 1, track 12)
    Masters of Jazz MJCD 44 (track 9)
    Masters of Jazz MJCD 9004 (disc 4, track 9)
    Vintage Jazz Classics VJC-1021-2 (track 12)
  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)
  “Ad-Lib Blues” on the three CDs above is on a separate track
  The false start on these three CDs is listed as  “Tune Up & Blues”  and is on  (disc 4, track 15)  of all three CDs
  “Ad-Lib Blues” only  (no false start):
  [ LP ] Jazz Archives JA-6 (disc A, track 1)
    Jazz Archives JA-42 (disc B, track 3)
  [ CD ] Archives of Jazz 380106 2 (track 1)
    Archives of Jazz 389106 2 (track 1)
    ASV AJA 5176 (track 10)
    BD Jazz JZBD022 (disc 1, track 13)
    Blue Moon BMCD 1006 (track 7)
    Definitive DRCD11116 (track 22)
    Fabulous / Acrobat FABCD352 (track 9)
    Fuel 2000 302 061 167 2 (track 16)
    Golden Stars GSS 5461 (disc 1, track 6)
    Jazz Greats MC 027 (track 7)
    Le Chant du Monde 274 1448.49 (disc 2, track 5)
    Le Chant du Monde 274 1459.60 (disc 2, track 2)
    Masters of Jazz R2CD 8004 (disc 1, track 17)
    Membran 232094 [see Album Index]
    Membran 232568 [see Album Index]
    Mosaic MD4-239 (disc 4, track 4)
    Music Memoria 87998 2 (disc 2, track 1)
    Primo / Proper PRMCD 6092 (disc 1, track 15)
    Proper P1130 (track 4)
    Proper P1489 (track 23)
    Proper PROPERBOX 8 (disc 2, track 4)
    Proper PROPERBOX 98 (disc 1, track 23)
    Proper / musisoft EMCD 21 (track 2)
    Warner Music France 3007-2 (track 17)


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