DB Hall of Fame

SOLO  FLIGHT

THE  CHARLIE  CHRISTIAN  LEGACY

DB Hall of Fame


 

 

I GOT RHYTHM
 
[ TAKE 1 ]
 
Jam Session

SEPTEMBER  24,  1939     Sunday “HARLEM BREAKFAST CLUB”
Minneapolis,  Minnesota
 

 
  32  BARS    (AABA) Key of   Bb Quarter Note =   220 Time:   3:36
 
 
  4-Bar  Intro  +  6  CHORUSES:
 
    8  bars  –  piano (Intro)
 
    1  chor  –  tenor sax
 
  1  chor  –  CC
 
    1  chor  –  piano
 
    1  chor  –  tenor sax
 
  1  chor  –  CC
 
    1  chor  –  tenor sax
 
 

 
Personnel:
 
  CHARLIE CHRISTIAN Guitar
  JERRY JEROME tenor sax
  FRANKIE HINES piano
  OSCAR PETTIFORD bass
 
 

 
  Jam Session Recorded by  JERRY NEWHOUSE
 

Composed by: George Gershwin - Ira Gershwin
 
©   VALDÉS   3/17/18

 

 

Take One:

First Guitar Solo

Second Guitar Solo

 



C&A:

Jerry Newhouse, a young man in the local printing-paper business, recorded this jam session at the Harlem Breakfast Club, a private after-hours club on Royalston Avenue in Minneapolis.

After their gig at the Orpheum Theatre in St. Paul, Charlie Christian and his bandmate Jerry Jerome were transported about ten miles by Newhouse and his friend Dick Pendleton to the club where they were joined by two twin-city denizens, pianist Frankie Hines and bassist Oscar Pettiford.

Since there was no drummer, Charles kept time by tapping his foot on the floor;  a cushion was placed under his foot to keep the vibrations from rattling Newhouse’s acetate disc recorder set up in an adjoining room.  It worked.

The sequence in the presentation of the two I Got Rhythm takes is as appointed by Newhouse.  The tune was redone due to someone, for some unfathomable reason, not being pleased with the initial take.  We got lucky.

I Got Rhythm     Take 1

1st Solo
After a volume check, Charles tosses in an abstract paraphrase of the melody on bar two before he continues with his typical blues lines.  And also typically, enthusiasm is boosted as he crosses the bridge.  An exciting solo with singular moments scattered about.

2nd Solo
Measures 6 and 7 contain a blues line that is again encountered more prominently right after the bridge.  There are two unusual phrases in mm 9-11 – unusual in that they are not in his customary repertoire and unusual in that they are unique in themselves.  Not sure that anyone else has played them just like this.

The bridge starts out with four arps alternating between ending in the tonic (D) and ending in the dom7 (C).  Then comes one of his great slides into the ensuing chord sequence with a couple of G13 lines that go into the far reaches of the fretboard.  The next chord sector receives a most interesting treatment:  C9, two b9s, b7/13th double-stops.  Leaving the choppy rhythm of the C7 arena, the bridge ends with a lilting F7 topped off by a 13th (D).

Charles enters the final A-section with descending blues lines that give the affectation of a continuation of the bridge.  On the third beat of bar 26, the C is held for half-a-tick to give the line an opposite syncopation from mm 9-11.  The closing four bars continue the blues mood – b3 bend, b7 bend, repeated figures with four emphasized, slightly-bent b3s on every other upbeat.

I Got Rhythm     Take 2

1st Solo
The second A-section begins at bar 9 with a long Bb run that at bar 13 goes into a diminished scale up to a descending b3/b7 sequence.  That last blues sequence can be heard on several of Charles’ recordings in various guises and time-spans.

Then on the up of the first beat of bar 16, way before the bridge, Charles comes in with his D7.  This is almost a full measure anticipation of a chord change – among the longest he recorded.  It’s a relatively tempered start, though, to a very energetic bridge full of unique details.

As on the first take, the four bars after the bridge give the impression of the bridge being much longer.  Indeed, he doesn’t let up until the very end of the chorus.

2nd Solo
First a long, random Bb chord while adjusting the volume then Charles comes in with a kind-of preview of his kind-of boogie composition to be recorded a couple of months later.

Starting at bar 12, three repeated F-mixolydian scales introduce the bridge that starts with three repeated D9 arpeggios and, after a two-bar G7 interlude, an identical C9 arpeggio at bar 21.  Another interlude (F9) is followed by some more kind-of Seven Come Eleven riffing with some nifty rhythmic twists.  Charles then prepares for the cascading down on mm 29-30 (compare with bar 14 of the first solo and with mm 25-26 of the second solo in the first take).

Tenor saxman Jerry Jerome takes it out with a final chorus before the crew sets up for more wonders to come with Star Dust and Tea for Two.

———
This was the first time bassist Oscar Pettiford, a teenager who later became very well known, was ever recorded.  He may not sound like much here, but the other local, Frankie Hines, is an especially enjoyable pianist.  A shame that more of Hines’ work was not available.

An interesting read at this point might be Jerry Newhouse’s letter to Columbia Records, Inc on  JAZZ LIVES
(the link to our transcription is a bit out-of-date on Michael Steinman’s blog Jazz Lives)


———
Jerry Newhouse recorded this session on location utilizing a Presto acetate disc recorder (12-inch discs at 78rpm).  At the time, he was fresh out of college and starting out in the paper industry.  The preeminent Mr. Newhouse can also be credited with having recorded countless broadcasts by the bands of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, et al.  A bountiful number of airchecks released on LP and CD from that era have come from his treasured archives.

 


 
Issued Recordings:
 
  [ CD ] Definitive DRCD11386 (track 19)
    Masters of Jazz MJCD 189 (track 3)
    Suisa JZCD 379 (track 1)
    Uptown UPCD 27.63 (track 4)
 
 
  Spliced & Incomplete:
    All spliced & incomplete issues are missing the piano intro and the first 28 bars of the first tenor sax chorus and are spliced preceded by part of Take 2     (refer to The Spliced Recordings page)
 
  [ LP ] CBS 2BP 220094 (side B, track 1b)
    CBS 67233 (side B, track 1b)
    CBS / Sony 56AP 674-6 (side B, track 5b)
    CBS / Sony SOPZ4-6 (side B, track 5b)
    Columbia CG 30779 (side B, track 1b)
    Columbia G 30779 (side B, track 1b)
    I Grande del Jazz GdJ-48 (side A, track 3b)
 
  [ CD ] Arbors ARCD 19213 (disc 1, track 11b)
    Definitive DRCD11122 (track 5b)
    Definitive DRCD11177 (disc 1, track 4b)
    Disconforme GV1359 (track 5b)
    Fuel 2000 302 061 167 2 (track 1b)
    JSP JSP909 (disc 1, track 4b)
    Le Chant du Monde 274 1459.60 (disc 1, track 2b)
    Masters of Jazz MJCD 24 (track 4b)
    Masters of Jazz MJCD 9004 (disc 1, track 4b)
    Masters of Jazz R2CD 8004 (disc 1, track 3b)
    Music Memoria 87998 2 (disc 1, track 2b)
    Proper P1491 (track 2b)
    Proper PROPERBOX 98 (disc 3, track 2b)
    Warner Music France 3007-2 (track 5b)
 
  Some older releases incorrectly list the recording date as March 1940
 


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