DB Hall of Fame

SOLO  FLIGHT

THE  CHARLIE  CHRISTIAN  LEGACY

DB Hall of Fame


 

 

MEMORIES OF YOU
 
Concert
 
DECEMBER  24,  1939     Sunday “FROM SPIRITUALS TO SWING”  CONCERT
CARNEGIE HALL,  NYC
 

 
  32  BARS    (AABA) Key of   E Quarter Note =   92 Time:   3:02
 
 
  2-Bar Intro  +  2  CHORUSES:
 
      2  bars  –  clarinet (Intro)
 
    32  bars  –  clarinet (Melody)
 
    16  bars  –  vibes
  32  bars  –  CC
      8  bars  –  clarinet (Melody)
 
 

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

Composed by: Eubie Blake  (lyrics by Andy Razaf)
 
©   VALDÉS   1/27/18


 

Transcription Page:     Memories of You   –  24 December 1939

 



C
&A:

Five different versions of Memories of You were recorded – all within a three-month period;  and all with the 1939 sextet in NYC, same personnel (Smack was reinstated as the sextet pianist for the concert) and routine:  one radio studio broadcast, one at a Waldorf-Astoria Hotel gig, two in the Columbia recording studio for possible commercial release, and one in concert at Carnegie Hall on Christmas Eve.  Goodman’s forte was playing the melody on ballads – his contributions to this tune are exemplary.

Charles’ usual method is to employ eighth notes in his solos.  On slower tunes he would use sixteenth notes in parts of his solos.  Memories of You is unique in that he applies sixteenth notes exclusively on all five versions.  And he plays much of the rhythm straight (not syncopated) on all five of his solos usually holding the swingin’ till the last bar.

Each and every one of Charlie Christian’s solos is beautifully put together.  Like whiffs of fresh air.  They arrive, exhilarate, and are quickly gone.

Dec 24, 1939
“From Spirituals to Swing” Concert at Carnegie Hall

As on bar 20 in the previous version (second studio take), Charles leads into the G7 with a A♭7 sequence.  And as on the initial Oct 7th occurrence of the tune, this last version again has augmented arpeggios in bar 23 albeit in a distinctly different configuration.  Based on the last two measures alone, one is tempted to select this as the top Memories bridge.  One is also tempted to guess that Charles may have been encouraged by the regal audience present in the wings.

Erudite reviews:

Jan Evensmo in The Guitars of Charlie Christian… (1976):
Memories… is a great surprise, being very much different from the previous versions.  It is much more direct and outward without losing musical significance.”

Gunther Schuller in The Swing Era (1989):
“From the aforementioned Carnegie Hall concert, there survive a number of fine Christian solos, incorporating now some new and unusual winding, twisting lines, as for example, in the last four bars of Memories of You.”

Claude Carrière in Charlie Christian, Vol. 2 (1992) MJCD 29 liner notes:
“… and his closing phrase on the bridge of Memories of You, veritable monument of melodic and harmonic invention that within the space of a few magic seconds seems to anticipate several decades of jazz.  This brief passage should in itself suffice to convert any doubters of Christian’s greatness.”

 



 
Issued Recordings:
 
  [ LP ] Amiga / Amiga Jazz 8 50 060 (side A, track 3)
  CBS / 51 West Q 16007 (side A, track 3)
  Fontana FJL 401 (side A, track 3)
  Fontana TFL 5187 (side A, track 3)
  Jazztone J-1248 (side A, track 3)
  Top Rank 35/064 (side A, track 3)
  Vanguard VRS-8523 (side A, track 3)
  Vanguard VSD-47 (side A, track 3)
  Vogue VJD 550 (side A, track 3)
 
  [ CD ] Definitive DRCD11177 (disc 2, track 4)
  Definitive DRCD11182 (disc 2, track 6)
  Frémeaux FA 218 (disc 2, track 6)
  JSP JSP909 (disc 2, track 4)
  Masters of Jazz MJCD 29 (track 16)
  Masters of Jazz MJCD 9004 (disc 2, track 16)
  Masters of Jazz R2CD 8004 (disc 1, track 8)
  Mr Music MMCD-7040 (track 15)
  Music Memoria 87998 2 (disc 1, track 11)
  Music Memoria 88048 2 (disc 2, track 10)
  Saga Jazz 066 449-2 (track 21)
  Vanguard 169/71-2 (disc 3, track 3)
  Vanguard VCD2-47/48 (disc 1, track 3)
  Warner Music France 3007-2 (track 11)
 

 



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