DB Hall of Fame

SOLO  FLIGHT

THE  CHARLIE  CHRISTIAN  LEGACY

DB Hall of Fame


 

 

HONEYSUCKLE ROSE
(UP ON TEDDY’S HILL)
 
Jam Session
 
MAY  1941 “MINTON’S PLAYHOUSE”
Hotel Cecil,  210 West 118th Street
HARLEM,  NYC
 

 
  32 BARS    (AABA) Key of   D Quarter Note =   180 Time:   6:24
 
 
  9  CHORUSES  +  2-Bar Tag:
 
    4  chor  –  CC
 
      2  chor  –  tenor sax
 
  16  bars  –  trumpet (over CC riffs)
      8  bars  –  trumpet
    8  bars  –  trumpet (over CC riffs)
 
  16  bars  –  trumpet (over CC riffs)
      8  bars  –  trumpet
    8  bars  –  trumpet (over CC riffs)
 
  16  bars  –  CC & ensemble (free improv)
    8  bars  –  CC
    8  bars  –  CC & ensemble (free improv)
 
    2  bars  –  CC & ensemble (free improv)     [tag]
 
 

 
Personnel:
 
  CHARLIE CHRISTIAN Guitar
  DON BYAS tenor sax
  JOE GUY trumpet
  unknown trumpet  *
  unknown piano
  unknown bass
  unknown drums
 
    *  on out-chorus only
 

 
  Jam Session Recorded by  JERRY NEWMAN
 

Composed by: Fats Waller  (lyrics by Andy Razaf)
 
©   VALDÉS   7/29/00


 

Guitar Solo:   [ chorus 1 ]   [ chorus 2 ]   [ chorus 3 ]   [ chorus 4 ]

Riffs behind trumpet solo:   [ 1st riff chorus ]    [ 2nd riff chorus ]

Out Chorus:   [ with Guitar Solo on bridge ]

 



C&A:

This is the last recorded version of Honeysuckle Rose on which Charlie Christian solos—there were half a dozen previous versions, including one with the full orchestra—and this one is by far the longest.  It was recorded at a jam session on an acetate recorder by Jerry Newman at Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem.  CC takes the first four choruses, riffs behind the trumpet soloist on two choruses, and then takes a fantastic solo on the bridge of the final chorus.

First CC Solo

First Solo – 1st Chorus
On the first eight bars, Charles starts out very relaxed with some most uncommon phrases, and more space between phrased than is usual.  Then he leads off with a short D♭dim phrase before going into the A♭7 as he starts to turn up the intensity.  It’s not long before he is in full flight.  Note that on mm 24-27 he descends from the 16th fret to the nut in less than three bars.

First Solo – 2nd Chorus
Across the fifth and sixth measures someone in the band or audience shouts “Charlie Christian” which may have inspired Charles to let out that beautiful run from mm 8-10.  The lick that starts at the end of bar 16 is the same as the one across mm 18-19 on the first chorus, only rhythmically inverted and placed much higher on the fretboard to accommodate the underlying harmony.  The bridge consists of standard phrases except that at bars 16 and 21, they are very well disguised.

First Solo – 3rd Chorus
There are many of CC’s ingenious licks on this chorus, often subtly disguised.   He starts off with the A♭ pedal tone figure as on mm 10-11 on the first chorus followed by the same two-bar line.  Measure 5 has a favorite lick that’s the same as at bar 14 of the first chorus.  At bar 14 two notes anticipate the following four bar start of another line.  Measure 22 contains the same two notes with different time values.  The last two notes on mm 24 have the same effect as the ones on mm 22.  At mm 27, he repeats a three note sequence displaced in time.  The phrase at mm 25-26 is the same as at bar 22 of the previous chorus—this one in A♭7, the other in E♭7.

First Solo – 4th Chorus
This chorus starts with CC playing the same note simultaneously on two different strings.   The alternating-string B♭s have been used a few times on other tunes, also to great effect.  A clever device that Charles also used on other occasions is on mm 13-14.  The staircase at mm 19-20 is an inverted version that appears on the same bars in the 2nd chorus.  Note the canny two-beat rest that he takes at bar 21 before resolving the phrase started at bar 20.  At mm 25-26 the rhythm is broken up into clusters of three notes with the first note of each cluster alternating on the down and up beats.

On the next two choruses Charles riffs behind the trumpet solo.

Second CC Solo

Out Chorus
The first half of the chorus consists of free improvisation with CC riffing along.   Then come the bridge!  This has to be the swingin’est bridge solo ever recorded.  It may be that CC felt that the jam was lagging and impulsively decided to take a solo at this point.  Almost two bars into the bridge, Charles comes in with an extraordinary, unprecedented entrance that leaves the listener dumbfounded.  After that astounding entrance come some familiar phrases that CC has rhythmically modified for maximum swing.  Then it’s back to free improv capped by a two-bar tag.  It’s difficult to understand why other transcribers don’t include this brief but amazing solo in their works.

This recording is an especially good piece to memorize and study to better understand the genius of Charlie Christian.



 
Issued Recordings:
 
  [ 10 ] Esoteric ESJ-4 (side B, track 1)
    Vogue LD 158 (side B, track 1)
 
  [ LP ] Bellaphon BJS 4042 (side A, track 3)
    Counterpoint CPT-548 (side A, track 3)
    Counterpoint CPTS-5548 (side A, track 3)
    Esoteric ES-548 (side A, track 3)
    Everest 1233 (side A, track 3)
    Everest 5233 (side A, track 3)
    Everest FS-219 (side A, track 3)
    Everest FS-259 (side A, track 3)
    Festival ALB 377 (side A, track 3)
    Jazz Anthology JA 5122 (side A, track 3)
    Nippon Columbia / Everest HR-101-EV (side A, track 3)
    Nippon Columbia / Everest SL-5001-EV (side A, track 3)
    Nippon Columbia / Everest YS-7071-EV (side A, track 3)
    Presto PRE 640 (side A, track 2)
    Saga 6919 (side A, track 2)
    Saga SOC 1036 (side A, track 2)
    Society SOC 996 (side A, track 3)
    Upfront UPF-181 (side A, track 2)
    Vedette VRM 36025 (side A, track 3)
    Vedette VRMS 325 (side A, track 3)
    Vogue VG 405 / 500114 (side B, track 1)
 
  [ CD ] BD Jazz JZBD022 (disc 2, track 5)
    Blue Moon Discs 008 (track 3)
    CMA Jazz CM 15001 (track 2)
    Definitive DRCD11177 (disc 4, track 8)
    Definitive DRCD11288 (track 19)
    Dreyfus Jazz FDM 36715-2 (track 6)
    Fantasy / Esoteric OJCCD-1932-2 (track 3)
    Frémeaux FA 046 (disc 1, track 9)
    Grammercy 0156 2 (track 2)
    Jazz Anthology 55001 2 (track 3)
    Jazz Classics JZCL-5005 (disc 2, track 3)
    JSP JSP909 (disc 4, track 8)
    Laserlight 17 032 (track 2)
    Le Chant du Monde 274 1459.60 (disc 2, track 18)
    Legacy International 373 (track 2)
    Masters of Jazz MJCD 45 (track 1)
    Masters of Jazz MJCD 75 (track 12)
    MasterSong 50354 2 (track 2)
    Membran 232096 [see Album Index]
    Membran 232568 [see Album Index]
    Music Memoria 87998 2 (disc 2, track 4)
    Musidisc MUS-55001 2 (track 3)
    Natasha Imports NI-4020 (track 3)
    Nippon Columbia 30CY-1436 (track 3)
    Primo / Proper PRMCD 6092 (disc 2, track 17)
    Proper P1492 (disc 1, track 14)
    Proper PROPERBOX 98 (disc 4, track 14)
    Rhino R2 70717 (track 5)
    United Audio UAE 3066 2 (track 13)
    Venus 35C38-7223 (track 3)
    Venus TKCZ-36013 (track 3)
    Venus TKCZ-79502 (track 3)
    Vogue VG 651 / 600135 (track 3)
 

 



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