This blues presented itself at the end of two long days of recording for
Charlie Christian. On Wednesday the sextet had begun a two-day session putting
down multiple takes of four different tunes for Columbia. In between, Charles had
participated in a session backing The Charioteers vocal quartet at the Columbia
Recording Studios. Now he was at the RCA Victor studios with the Metronome
All Star Band composed of musicians selected in the annual magazine poll.
Count Basie, Cootie Williams, Benny Goodman, and Artie Bernstein were on
both the sextet and the all star sessions. Jo Jones was on both the sextet
and Charioteers sessions. Our guitarist was on all three.
CC gets to solo on only one tune with the all stars this year: One O’Clock Jump. Basie
(the tune’s composer) begins with two typically fine choruses and is then followed by the other
soloists taking only one chorus each.
The pianist gives Charles a perfect lead-in which he picks up immediately. A
simple blues solo by Charles but very soulfully executed. It’s easy to
overlook this one due to its brevity but it’s a beauty. It would have been
preferable, though, if the ensemble hadn’t riffed behind him which they also
did on half the solos. The trombonist follows with another bluesy solo. The
rest of the soloists take good single choruses, Cootie and Benny Carter in
particular – except for the tenor-saxist who doesn’t bother to do anything
but riff through his entire solo.
Don’t disregard Charles’ solo on this one – the first five bars are
especially delightful, simple but perfect.
NB: One O’Clock Jump was released the
following month together with the other tune recorded at the session. Both
tunes would be reissued, always together, in the early ’50s on 78-rpm
singles, 45-rpm singles, an Extended Play 7" sleeve set, a box set of 45-rpm
singles, and a 10" LP. Several 12" LPs followed later in the 1950s –
still with One O’Clock Jump invariably following Bugle Call Rag, a tune on which he did not solo.