DB Hall of Fame



DB Hall of Fame




AUGUST  19,  1939     Saturday “CAMEL CARAVAN”
NBC Radio Network / WEAF

  32  BARS    (AABA) Key of   E Quarter Note =   170 Time:   3:07
  Goodman:  “Several weeks ago we heard about a young guitar player working in a little night spot in Oklahoma City.  After listening to the enthusiastic reports, we sent for him.  We heard him play for the first time a couple of days ago and decided the reports were true.  He’s a Texan by the way of Oklahoma City and now … I want you to meet Charles Christian.
  “After we heard Charles play the guitar we got another idea about a new group within the band.  A group consisting of the piano, bass, vibraharp, drums, guitar and clarinet.  The tune we’ll play is Flying Home – a number we made up at rehearsal yesterday.”
  4-Bar Intro  +  4  CHORUSES:
      4  bars  –  piano (Intro)
    16  bars  –  CC & ens (Theme)
      8  bars  –  clarinet
      8  bars  –  CC & ens (Theme)
  32  bars  –  CC
    16  bars  –  vibes (over CC chord accents)
      8  bars  –  vibes (over CC riffs)
      8  bars  –  vibes (over CC chord accents)
    16  bars  –  CC & ens (Riffs)
      8  bars  –  clarinet
      8  bars  –  CC & ens (Riffs)
a Jerry Newhouse recording 

  Benny Goodman Sextet
  BENNY GOODMAN clarinet

Composed by: Charlie Christian - Leslie Sheffield - Lionel Hampton
©   VALDÉS   10/2/04


Transcription Page:     Flying Home  —  19 August 1939



The “Camel Caravan” radio series featuring the Goodman band had been aired every Saturday night for the past three years and would continue for four more months until the end of 1939.  Tonight’s half-hour program – performed this one time at The Hollywood Bowl – included several tunes by the orchestra (less Charles) and one by the sextet.

Having been hired into the sextet just three days earlier, this was Charlie Christian’s first gig.  Fortunately, one of the two pieces recorded on this evening’s program was the selection by the sextet featuring Charles – his very first recorded solo on his own composition, Flying Home.  Straightaway a superb fully-formed soloist is revealed.

CC starts off with a four-note figure that he subsequently used on several other recorded versions of the tune – here the figure is repeated four times, more than on any of the other iterations.  It is an amazingly effective start to an electrifying outing on one chorus.  As would be the norm, the exhilaration moves up a notch at the bridge.  This was but the first of many more treasures to come in the next couple of years.

There are many skeptics of the tablature applied to the transcriptions on this site.  I would suggest to them to set aside their conventional chord-pattern improvising method that came out of the book and at least try this, Charles’ initial solo.  The actual fingering that I advocate is not as difficult for an experienced guitarist as it may seem at first – the most difficult part is getting rid of ingrained habits.  A few minutes of concentrated effort will reward with an enlightened understanding and a truly joyous discovery of a new way of finally being able to phrase a solo as Charlie Christian did.  Can’t be done any other way – to sound like Charles, you have to stroke the guitar like Charles.
It works well even if one has to take it at a tad less than full tempo.

Issued Recordings:
  [ LP ] Jazz Archives JA-23 (side A, track 1)
    Musica Jazz 2MJP 1058 (side A, track 1)
  [ CD ] Archives of Jazz 380123 2 (track 1)
    Archives of Jazz 389123 2 (track 1)
    Definitive DRCD11177 (disc 1, track 1)
    Galaxy 389944 2 (track 1)
    Golden Stars GSS 5461 (disc 1, track 5)
    Jazz Classics JZCL-5005 (disc 1, track 1)
    JSP Records JSP909 (disc 1, track 1)
    Le Jazz / Charly CD 11 (track 1)
    Masters of Jazz MJCD 24 (track 1)
    Masters of Jazz MJCD 9004 (disc 1, track 1)
    Music Memoria 87998 2 (disc 1, track 1)
    Proper P1491 (track 1)
    Proper PROPERBOX 98 (disc 3, track 1)
    Stardust CLP 1150-2 (track 1)
    Uptown UPCD 27.63 (track 5)
    Vintage Jazz Classics VJC-1021-2 (track 1)
  Incorrect date of August 10, 1939 appears on some releases.


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