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mx  BS-041407-1
SEPTEMBER  11,  1939     Monday VICTOR Records
  RCA Studios,  NYC

  32  BARS    (AABA) Key of   D Quarter Note =   102 Time:   3:17
  4-Bar  Intro  +  2 ½  CHORUSES:
      4  bars  –  piano (Intro)
    16  bars  –  tenor sax (over ens)
      8  bars  –  vibes
      8  bars  –  tenor sax (over ens)
  30  bars  –  vocal (with CC chord obbl)
      2  bars  –  piano & drums
      8  bars  –  vibes [bridge] (over ens)
      4  bars  –  ensemble
      4  bars  –  vibes (over ens)

  Lionel Hampton and Orchestra
  BENNY CARTER alto sax
  CHU BERRY tenor sax
  COLEMAN HAWKINS tenor sax   (ts solo)
  BEN WEBSTER tenor sax
  LIONEL HAMPTON vibes, vocal
  CLYDE HART piano
  COZY COLE drums
  Arranged by  BENNY CARTER

Composed by: Harry Warren – lyrics by Lew Brown & Sidney Clare
©   VALDÉS   9/25/18


Transcription Page One:     First Half   (of chorus)


Transcription Page Two:     Second Half   (of chorus)



An extraordinary studio recording session led by Lionel Hampton for the Victor label leads off with a most beautiful rendition of When Lights Are Low composed and arranged by Benny Carter, the leading arranger of the era – Carter was just about as far ahead of his peers in the field of orchestral arranging as Christian was in his own domain.  This is the first of two distinct recording dates led by Hampton with Charlie Christian on guitar – one in September and one in October of 1939.  Charles does not solo on this session but he does get to provide the featured backing for Hampton’s vocal on One Sweet Letter from You, also arranged by maestro Carter.

This is Charles’ first studio session and he makes the most of his chordal accompaniment to the leader’s only vocal on the date.  It is the epitome of tasteful acoustic guitar complement, mostly fills connecting the vocal phrases.  The single take closes out with a magnificent Carter arrangement for the superb ad-hoc ensemble.  The rhythm section on this gig is equal to Basie’s, especially on the two referenced tunes and most certainly on the first named.  The only time they worked together! – Christian, Hart, Hinton, Cole – amazing;  they enthrall the listener with an ethereal, incredible unity.  Same goes for the whole band for that matter.  This was an unpredictable but truly fortuitous confluence of kindred colleagues.

note:  Two days after this session the Goodman orchestra recorded this same song for Columbia, with a different arrangement (Fletcher Henderson) and a different vocalist (Louise Tobin) – and with contrasting results.  Neither Charles nor Hampton participated on this band date.


Issued Recordings:
  [ 78 ] Victor 26393 (b/w Early Session Hop)
    V Disc 360A (p/w LH orch Sweethearts on Parade)
  [ LP ] Bluebird AXM6-5536 (side G, track 4)
  Musica Jazz 2MJP 1058 (side A, track 2)
  RCA 430.248 (side A, track 2)
  RCA Black & White 731.048 (side A, track 2)
  RCA Black & White PM 42417 (side A, track 4)
  RCA Camden CAL-517 (side B, track 3)
  RCA Camden CDN-138 (side B, track 3)
  [ CD ] Acrobat ACRCD 189 (track 20)
  Avid AMSC 612 (disc 2, track 3)
  Bluebird 6458-2-RB (track 19)
  Bluebird 66617-2 (disc 1, track 10)
  Chrisly CR 80007 (disc 2, track 16)
  Classics 562 (track 2)
  DeAgostini MJ 1011-1 (track 10)
  Definitive DRCD11122 (track 4)
  Definitive DRCD11176 (disc 1, track 2)
  Disconforme GV1359 (track 4)
  Documents / Membran 231048 (track 18)
  Encyclopedia EN 516 (track 12)
  Frémeaux FA 211 (disc 1, track 13)
  Fuel 2000 302 061 167 2 (track 6)
  Giants of Jazz 53050 (track 12)
  History 20.1960-HI (vol. 19, disc 1, track 14)
  History 20.1979-HI (disc 1, track 14)
  Jazz Archives / EPM 15737 2 (track 21)
  Jazz Archives / EPM 15825 2 (track 18)
  Jazzterdays JTD 102408 (track 16)
  Laserlight / Delta 15 714 (track 5)
  Makin’ Friends / BMG 14170 2 (disc 1, track 14)
  Masters of Jazz MJCD 24 (track 3)
  Masters of Jazz MJCD 9004 (disc 1, track 3)
  Masters of Jazz R2CD 8017 (disc 1, track 14)
    Membran 222777 [see Album Index]
    Membran 222800 [see Album Index]
    Membran 232094 [see Album Index]
    Membran 232568 [see Album Index]
  Mosaic MD5-238 (disc 3, track 13)
  Mosaic MD8-251 (disc 5, track 9)
  Music Memoria 30417 (track 10)
  Music Memoria 88081 2 (track 10)
  Naxos Jazz Legends 8.120621 (track 12)
  Proper P1145 (track 18)
  Proper PROPERBOX 12 (disc 1, track 18)
    Proper / Musisoft EMCD 07 (track 5)
  Proper / Retro R2CD 40-87 (disc 2, track 2)
  RCA Jazz Tribune Nº 74 22614 2 (disc 2, track 3)
  RCA Jazz Tribune Nº 52 ND 89277 (disc 1, track 7)
  RCA Victor 84190-2 (track 19)
  Topaz Jazz / Pavilion TPZ 1017 (track 1)

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