Charlie Christian takes another really good solo on this aircheck of The
Sheik of Araby carried off at a much faster tempo than on all of the other
versions even at this rate he never sounds rushed. The sextet is very inspired
for this live date. Throughout, one can easily hear CC driving on the rhythm behind
the other soloists.
Charles starts his solo with a sweet two-bar entrance, somewhat similar to the one on
the Sheik of two weeks ago at the same nightclub in Los Angeles. A typical
CC sequence follows, then a blues line at mm 6-8 trailed by repeated Gs on the same measure where he played the repeated
appoggiatura two weeks ago.
Another typical sequence follows then, at mm 16-18, some attention-getting figures
emerge high on the fretboard, repeated three times, each played over three beats producing
a three-against-four cross rhythm (not an uncommon CC rhythmic tactic). At mm 19-20
theres that staircase sequence that he played on the alternate studio take earlier
in the month, after which he slides down to conclude his solo on the lower strings.
An amazingly detailed solo by Charles for such a quick pace. The guitar solo is
followed by a piano chorus which is missing the second half on the original recording,
then by a partial clarinet solo which has never been commercially released.
A transcription of the Intro is not provided here. It is the same as that on the
studio master take (qv).