DB Hall of Fame

SOLO  FLIGHT

THE  CHARLIE  CHRISTIAN  LEGACY

DB Hall of Fame


 

 

GRAND SLAM
(BOY MEETS GOY )
(BOY MEETS GIRL)
 
mx  WCO 26744 B
 
APRIL  10,  1940   *      Wednesday HOLLYWOOD
World Broadcasting System
[ for COLUMBIA Records ]   *
 

 
  12-BAR  BLUES   (Boogie) Key of   F Quarter Note =   200 Time:   2:49
 
 
  8-Bar  Intro  +  11  CHORUSES:
 
    8 bars  –  CC & ensemble (Intro Riffs)
 
    24 bars  –  clarinet
 
  24 bars  –  CC
 
    24 bars  –  vibes
 
    24 bars  –  piano
 
    12 bars  –  clarinet
 
    24 bars  –  clarinet & vibes
 
 

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

 
  * Matrix assigned on  APRIL 16, 1940
  Recorded by the World Broadcasting System, Inc. (Hollywood)
  for the Columbia Recording Corp. (NYC)
 

Composed by: Charlie Christian - Lionel Hampton - Benny Goodman
 
© VALDÉS   8/19/00

 


 

Transcription Page:     Grand Slam  —  take B  (master take)

 



C&A:

Charlie Christian’s solo on the boogie Grand Slam must be one of the most underrated of all his solos.  All of the critical assessments I’ve read consider it no more than ordinary, but many noted jazz guitarists disagree.   To quote Jim Hall in an interview of about a decade ago referring to when he was thirteen years old and had been playing guitar for three years:  “I heard a recording of Charlie’s solo on Grand Slam and that was it.  Jazz was going to be my life!”

Charles begins his solo—swinging fervently as usual—with the same phrasing that he used on the first take of this tune (this is the second take, which was selected as the master) but using entirely different notes.  He ends, at bar 3, slurring up to the tonic (F) rather than to the usual third (A).  That's followed by a clever B♭7 line:  ♭7th (A♭), 8th (B♭), 9th (C), 13th (G), topped by a couple of triplets.  On mm 8-9 he plays a figure that’s identical to one he also used on the first take—here it’s over the C7, on the other take it was over the B♭7.

The entire second chorus is what really makes this solo so great;  it’s particularly fascinating from a guitarist’s point of view.  Alternating strings on the off-beat set up a four-note phrase repeated four times, each containing one note a half-step higher than on the previous one (mm 1-2 of the second chorus).  After a pause, it’s resolved with a short F7 descending burst.  Then, higher up, he immediately starts a long descending B♭7 run before ascending to culminate in a brilliant F phrase. Ingenious Fdim7 notes on alternating strings are followed by a couple of pre-bent Cs (mm 8-10).  He ends his solo with a phrase that’s virtually identical to the ending of his solo on an unreleased, untitled tune (in D♭) recorded a week earlier in the same studio.

I believe it’s the best of Charles’ blues solos with the sextet in the studio:  very logically constructed;  melodic and bluesy.  It’s my favorite of his fast blues solos.

 


 
Issued Recordings:
 
  [ 78 ] Columbia     (originally as  Boy Meets Goy) 35482 (b/w I Surrender, Dear)
    Columbia     (as  Grand Slam) 36722 (b/w Poor Butterfly)
    Columbia     (as  Grand Slam) C-102 (side C, track 6)
 
  [ EP ] Columbia     (as  Boy Meets Girl) RLS 799  (SEGC.10) (side C, track 2)
 
  [ LP ] CBS 2BP 220094 (side B, track 4)
    CBS 460612 1 (side A, track 5)
    CBS 62.581 (side B, track 1)
    CBS 67233 (side B, track 4)
    CBS / Sony 56AP 674-6 (side C, track 4)
    CBS / Sony SOPZ4-6 (side C, track 4)
    Columbia CG 30779 (side B, track 4)
    Columbia CJ 40846 (side A, track 5)
    Columbia G 30779 (side B, track 4)
 
  [ CD ] ABM ABMMCD 1209 (track 15)
    Acrobat ACRCD 160 (track 15)
    BD Jazz JZBD022 (disc 1, track 11)
    Best of Jazz 4032 (track 11)
    Catfish KATCD196 (track 15)
    CBS 460612 2 (track 5)
    Chestnut CN1003 (track 13)
    Classics 1131 (track 6)
    Columbia 501646 2 (track 5)
    Columbia/Legacy AC4K 65564 (disc 1, tracks 16 & 25)
    Columbia/Legacy C4K 65564 (disc 1, track 16)
    Columbia CK 40846 (track 5)
    Columbia CK 86834 (track 5)
    Columbia CK 91494 (track 5)
    Definitive DRCD11176 (disc 2, track 12)
    Definitive DRCD11288 (track 5)
    Edel 0193692ERE (track 13)
    Fabulous / Acrobat FABCD352 (track 7)
    Giants of Jazz 53039 (track 22)
    History 20.1960-HI (set 15, disc 1, track 22)
    History 20.1975-HI (disc 1, track 22)
    Jasmine JASMCD 2539 (track 6)
    JSP Records JSP911 (disc 3, track 17)
    Masters of Jazz MJCD 40 (track 15)
    Masters of Jazz MJCD 9004 (disc 3, track 15)
    Membran 232094 [see Album Index]
    Membran 232568 [see Album Index]
    Naxos Jazz Legends 8.120768 (track 14)
    Past Perfect 205798-203 (track 9)
    Primo / Proper PRMCD 6092 (disc 1, track 12)
    Proper P1489 (track 18)
    Proper PROPERBOX 98 (disc 1, track 18)
    SME / Sony SRCS 9612 (track 5)
    Sony/Legacy 93035 (disc 1, track 16)
    Sony Music Media SMM 517115 2 (track 5)
    Topaz Jazz TPZ 1017 (track 12)
    Universe UV 129/2 (disc 1, track 14)
 

 



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