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DB Hall of Fame



Jam Session
Hotel Cecil,  210 West 118th Street
Harlem,  NYC

  32  BARS   (AABA) Key of   B Quarter Note =   222 Time:   3:17
  5 ½  CHORUSES  +  5-Bar Tag:
  [ Recording starts in mid-chorus ]
  16 bars  –  CC
    2 chor  –  CC
  < -spliced- >
      1 bar  –  trumpet
      2 chor  –  trumpet
  16 bars  –  ens improv (CC riffs)
    8 bars  –  trumpet (CC arpeggios)
    8 bars  –  ens improv (CC riffs)
      2 bars  –  trumpet (unaccompanied)
      3 bars  –  drums (unaccompanied)

  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: George Gershwin  (lyrics by Ira Gershwin)
©   VALDÉS   7/29/18


Page 1:   CC Solo:  1st Chorus

Page 2:   CC Solo:  2nd Chorus

Page 3:   CC Solo:  3rd Chorus

Page 4:   CC Riffs:  Out Chorus



The tempo is not much faster than the previous version of I Got Rhythm from a year and a half earlier at the Minneapolis after-hours club but it seems a lot faster.  It sounds rushed.  This is definitely not the regular rhythm section normally playing at Minton’s – the pianist is neither Kersey nor Monk and the drummer is more heavy-handed than the superb Klook.

Jerry Newman doesn’t get his recorder going until Charlie Christian is already in full flight going into the bridge.  We’ll never know where he started;  he goes full bore without stop through three chord changes with only a slight pause into the next chord (F7).  Charles then goes into a B♭6 with a ♭3 on the second half of the F7 leading into some familiar phrases and figures.

Unfortunately, all this time the drummer has been boorishly banging on the rim on the upbeat of every other fourth beat totally obscuring any musical note being played at the time.  Charles appears to be coasting between his two choruses, but it seems to me that he is trying to bring some life to the rhythm of the piece by going into a drumming mode.

There’s one unique occurrence on the bridge of the second chorus: Charles extends the G7 all the way through the entire two measures of the C7 section.  After the torrid second-chorus bridge, Charles throws in that same little figure from the 8th bar and then coasts a bit with some riffs going into his third solo chorus.

Another surprise:  The first four bars of Charles’ third chorus is a quote of the first four measures of German composer Leon Jessel’s jaunty, turn-of-the-century character piece The Parade of the Tin Soldiers (aka The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers).  He then immediately goes into a long funky line that is at once smooth and choppy, melodic and discordant.

At this point, though, the drums have gotten loudly more intrusive, the crowd more boisterous and the horns wilder;  Charles holds off for a bit, taps out a few notes, four or five measures later he starts off again, gradually.

On the bridge of his third chorus, CC first does a familiar down-and-up-the-staircase thing, grumbles around the lower frets on the G7 – familiar notes but very unfamiliarly arranged; then swings on out briefly on the C7 before an abrupt chord transition takes him back towards the nut for the mostly familiar F7.  Not a very exotic bridge but interesting enough and swinging all the way.

Now comes his other up-and-down-the-stairs routine.  Same concept as on the previous one which emphasized the strong beat of a dominant (bar 17) but this one (mm 26-27) is on the upbeat of the major chord and played straight (scant syncopation).  Unusual to hear them so close together on the same chorus.  That’s followed straight away by a nicely placed diminished run, then out to give way to two+ (a recording glitch inserts an extra measure following CC’s solo) trumpet choruses preceding the finale.

The lamentable din and clamor of both the paying crowd and the playing crowd on the last chorus somewhat impairs the accuracy in the transcript of Charles’ riffing so a definite caveat is suggested here.  Rely more on your own auditory faculties on this chorus.  Also, keep in mind that the mastering of the different releases varies quite a bit with some having their own unique frequency equalization and wide range of audio “enhancement” processing.  It’s especially prevalent on this type of field recording.  Playback apps also tend to contribute their own peculiarities, so one also has to be selective with that.  Or…ignore this last-chorus page.

After all that, the incessant drummer tops it off with the last word on the tag.  Maybe the audio issues were mainly due to Newman’s mike just being too close to the drum kit.

nb:  The riff heard right after the bridge on the last chorus was first used by Mary Lou Williams in her 1936 composition and arrangement of Walkin’ and Swingin’ with Andy Kirk & His Twelve Clouds of Joy.
Thelonious Monk later developed the phrase into Rhythm-a-ning.

Issued Recordings:
  [10] Esoteric ESJ-4 (side B, track 4)
    Vogue LD 158 (side B, track 4)
  [LP] Musica Jazz 2MJP 1058 (side B, track 6)
    Vogue 500114 (side B, track 2)
    Xanadu 107 (side A, track 2)
    Xanadu JX. 6619 (side A, track 2)
  [CD] Century CECC 00376 (track 4)
    Definitive DRCD11177 (disc 4, track 9)
    Fantasy / Esoteric OJCCD-1932-2 (track 4)
    JSP JSP909 (disc 4, track 9)
    Masters of Jazz MJCD 75 (track 13)
    Membran 232096 [see Album Index]
    Membran 232568 [see Album Index]
    Music Memoria 87998 2 (disc 2, track 15)
    Primo / Proper PRMCD 6092 (disc 2, track 18)
    Proper P1492 (track 15)
    Proper PROPERBOX 98 (disc 4, track 15)
    SSJ XQAM-1638 (track 4)
    Venus TKCZ-36013 (track 4)
    Venus TKCZ-79502 (track 4)
    Vogue 600135 (track 4)


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