DB Hall of Fame



DB Hall of Fame



DECEMBER  16,  1939     Saturday “CAMEL CARAVAN”
NBC Radio Network / WEAF
Radio City Studios,  NYC

  32  BARS    (AABA) Key of   A♭ Quarter Note =   218 Time:   3:01
[ Goodman:   “Lionel Hampton arranged this one and we feature our new pianist, Johnny Guarnieri.” ]
  4-Bar  Intro  +  5  CHORUSES:
      4  bars  –  vibes (Intro)
      1  chor  –  clarinet (Melody)
    1  chor  –  vibes (accomp by CC amplified,
  modern-rhythm chords)
    1  chor  –  CC
    16  bars  –  clarinet
      8  bars  –  piano
      8  bars  –  clarinet (over vib riffs)
    16  bars  –  clarinet (over vib riffs)
      8  bars  –  vibes & clarinet (unaccomp 1-bar trades)
      8  bars  –  clarinet (over vib riffs)
a Jerry Newhouse recording 

  Benny Goodman Sextet
  BENNY GOODMAN clarinet

Composed by: Harry Akst  (lyrics by Sam M. Lewis - Joe Young)
© VALDÉS   6/15/99


First Page:          Chord Accompaniment behind Vibes solo

Second Page:     Guitar Solo



Dinah comes from a December 16 “Camel Caravan” broadcast and is the only version of this tune to be recorded by Charlie Christian.  There’s some notable stride piano here and, especially on the opening chorus, CC’s unique rhythm-guitar style is prominently recorded.

Not only is Charles’ solo “a pure delight!”—as stated in the Masters of Jazz CD liner notes—but his amplified chord accompaniment on the vibes solo is so extraordinary that it becomes the main attraction of the chorus with the vibes playing the supporting role.

On the following chorus CC sustains the essence of the melody during parts of his exhilarating solo—particularly on the first three bars and on mm 8-10 where he plays a variation of the first three.  There’s also a good example of how he played similar phrases (bars 2-3 and 30-31) on different places on the neck—one reason his licks don’t sound repetitive or stale.  On mm 4-6 he plays one of his favorite phrases then unexpectedly inserts (at bar 6) an uncommon D♮ instead of the usual ♭7 (D♭) of the chord.   Measure 16:  Charles often anticipates the bridge by a beat or two, here he does so by a full three beats.  At bar 27 he pre-bends up half-a-step (to G♭) before releasing to the normal F on the sixth fret rather than sliding down as he did at bar 14 or the regular bend at bar 31.

An unusual aspect of this solo is that there’s as much interesting stuff going on in the three “A” sections as there is on the bridge—usually he takes it up a notch or two on the bridge.  Also, it’s a particularly lyrical solo for such a fast tempo—and with relatively few rests.

The fidelity of the recording is not the best for transcribing, but it’s very listenable.  We’re fortunate indeed that at least this aircheck version of Dinah was captured, thanks to Jerry Newhouse.

  LISTEN   Chords / Guitar Solo:

Issued Recordings:
  [ LP ] Festival ALB 377 (side C, track 4)
    Jazz Anthology JA 5181 (side A, track 4)
    Jazz Archives JA-23 (side A, track 4)
  [ CD ] Archives of Jazz 380123 2 (track 3)
    Archives of Jazz 389123 2 (track 3)
    Definitive DRCD11177 (disc 2, track 1)
    Definitive DRCD11386 (track 5)
    Fuel 2000 302 061 755 2 (track 6)
    Galaxy 389944 2 (track 3)
    Jazz Classics JZCL-5005 (disc 1, track 5)
    JSP JSP909 (disc 2, track 1)
    Masters of Jazz MJCD 29 (track 10)
    Masters of Jazz MJCD 9004 (disc 2, track 10)
    Mr. Music MMCD-7040 (track 14)
    Music Memoria 87998 2 (disc 1, track 6)
    Norma NOCD5657 (track 5)
    Phoenix 131606 (track 5)
    Primo / Proper PRMCD 6092 (disc 2, track 10)
    Proper P1491 (track 12)
    Proper PROPERBOX 98 (disc 3, track 12)
    Stardust CLP 1150-2 (track 3)
    Uptown UPCD 27.63 (track 13)
    Vintage Jazz Classics VJC-1021-2 (track 5)


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