DB Hall of Fame

SOLO  FLIGHT

THE  CHARLIE  CHRISTIAN  LEGACY

DB Hall of Fame


 

 

PICK-A-RIB
 
Aircheck
 
DECEMBER  30,  1939     Saturday “CAMEL CARAVAN”
NBC Radio Network / WEAF
Radio City Studios,  NYC
 

 
  BLUES: Key of   B♭/E♭/A♭ Quarter Note =   188 Time:   3:00
       11-BAR  THEME  
       11 + 12-BAR  SOLOS  
       12-BAR  RIFFS  
 
 
[ Goodman:   “...and our tune tonight is, appropriately enough, ‘Pick-a-Rib’.” ]
 
 
               4  bars  –  drums B♭        (Intro)
 
             11  bars  –  clarinet & vibes B♭         (Theme Riffs)
 
    11 + 12  bars  –  clarinet B♭         (over vibes obbl)    [7th bar is missing]
 
           11  bars  –  CC & ensemble E♭         (Theme Riffs)
 
    11 + 12  bars  –  vibes E♭
 
           11  bars  –  CC & ensemble A♭         (Theme Riffs)
 
  11 + 12  bars  –  CC A♭
 
           24  bars  –  CC & ensemble A♭         (Riffs)
 
             12  bars  –  clarinet A♭         (over vibes obbl)
    (last bar w/ CC chord windup)
 
 

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

Composed by: Lionel Hampton
 
© VALDÉS   2/25/18


 

First Page:          Theme

Second Page:    Guitar Solo

Third Page:        Riffs

 



C&A:

On this night before New Year’s Eve, on the Saturday after the “From Spirituals to Swing” concert on the previous Sunday – the band had stopped at the Waldorf for three unrecorded nights during the week – the schedule called for a radio studio engagement.

The band’s long-running contract with the R.J. Reynolds tobacco company had expired.  It was back to RCA’s Radio City Studios for the final Saturday night “Camel Caravan” NBC broadcast (Charlie Christian was on the last19 of the 182 programs) – the sextet is recorded on a novelty tune with a novel structure.  Sorry to say, the recording did not survive in good condition and there are a few beats missing (not in any vital place) but it’s certainly very listenable.

After a 4-bar drum intro, Pick-a-Rib goes into eleven-bar riffs with 23-bar (11+12 bars) solos alternating with the theme riffs – changes key a couple of times before in settles into A♭ – and ends with 12-bar riff choruses.  Charles takes it all seriously enough;  Guarnieri does his best Fletcher Henderson impression;  Goodman thinks shrill suites the mood.

The guitar solo is a good one.  The first part is mostly typical CC with some notable variations here and there.  The start of the second part is the attention-getter – very apropos.  Charles goes on from there with suitable, characteristic sequences.  An exceedingly pleasurable blues excursion by the guitarist.

The novelty piece was named for the NYC restaurant of the bandleader’s bassist brother.



 
Issued Recordings:
 
  [ LP ] Aircheck 34 (side 2, track 10)
 
  [ CD ] Definitive DRCD11177 (disc 2, track 11)
    JSP JSP909 (disc 2, track 11)
    Masters of Jazz MJCD 40 (track 2)
    Masters of Jazz MJCD 9004 (disc 3, track 2)
 

 



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