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DB Hall of Fame



mx  CO 29942-2
MARCH  13,  1941     Thursday Columbia Studios,  NYC

  32-BARS   (AABA) Key of   F Quarter Note =   124 Time:   3:18
  4-Bar Intro  +  3  CHORUSES  +  2-Bar Tag:
   4 bars  –  CC   (over drums) (Intro)  
  16 bars  –  CC & ensemble (Theme)
     8 bars  –  trumpet
   8 bars  –  CC & ensemble (Theme)
  16 bars  –  tenor sax (over CC & ens riffs)
     8 bars  –  clarinet
   8 bars  –  tenor sax (over CC & ens riffs)
  16 bars  –  CC & ensemble (Theme Riffs)
   8 bars  –  CC
   8 bars  –  CC & ensemble (Theme Riffs)
   2 bars  –  CC & ensemble (Coda)

  Benny Goodman and his Sextet
  GEORGIE AULD tenor sax
  BENNY GOODMAN clarinet
  DAVE TOUGH drums

Composed by: Charlie Christian
© VALDÉS   3/13/19


A Smo-o-o-oth One  —  13 March 1941  —  CO 29942-2   master take

        Intro, Solo, Riffs



A Smo-o-o-oth One had made its first appearance on a portion of Charlie Christian’s repertory during the early hours of the session that took place while waitin’ for Benny and Artie to arrive prior to this scheduled 13 March 1941 Columbia recording date.  It was now decided to tone up the soupçon and record it as the first tune of the session along with a previously-composed, temporarily-named piece – another CC composition.  Seems that Goodman was not only late but also unprepared this one time.

Charles selected an unusual dyad for his introduction for A Smo-o-o-oth One – a very dissonant minor-2nd – perfectly suited for the ensemble’s theme.  The trumpet took the bridge on that first chorus.  The clarinet takes the next bridge which is set within a tenor sax solo chorus backed by CC riffs (also heard at the start of the second chorus of Charles’ jam solo).

The third and final chorus goes back to the theme, inappreciably altered.  This bridge is where Charles undertakes his only solo on the arrangement – eight ‘written’ bars.  The solo was improvised but then it was essentially repeated on all three takes.  A masterpiece actually;  it couldn’t have been more suitable.

A two-bar coda is added:  on the first take it’s guitar with ensemble, then the other two takes with Charles pretty much by himself.

CO 29942-X   initial take   LISTEN   first take
CO 29942-1   alternate take   LISTEN   second take
CO 29942-2   master take   LISTEN   master take

Charles uses lots of ghost or almost-ghost notes on these short solos.  This is also the perfect tempo for shifting the location of the notes on or off the beat.
A Smo-o-o-oth One was Charlie Christian's adaptation of Leo Robin - Lewis E. Gensler’s 1934 song Love Is Just Around the Corner, with a slightly modified bridge.

Issued Recordings:
  [ 78 ] Columbia 36099 (b/w Good Enough to Keep)
    V Disc     (as  A Smooth One) 187A (b/w  Will Bradley Orch  Celery Stalks at Midnight)
  [ 45 ] Columbia G 4-2 (G 4-2-7)
  [ EP ] Columbia B-350 (side D, track 1)
  [ LP ] Astan 20085 (side A, track 1)
    Astan 20121 (side B, track 3)
    CBS / Sony 56AP 674~6 (side F, track 6)
    CBS / Sony SOPM 162 (side B, track 1)
    CBS / Sony SOPZ4~6 (side F, track 6)
    Columbia 33SX 1035 (side B, track 1)
    Columbia CL 500 (side B, track 1)
    Columbia GL 500 (side B, track 1)
    Philips BBL 7178 (side A, track 2)
  [ CD ] Best of Jazz 4032 (track 20)
    Chestnut CN1003 (Track 1)
    Classics 1236 (track 3)
    Columbia/Legacy AC4K 65564 (disc 3, track 7)
    Columbia/Legacy C4K 65564 (disc 3, track 7)
    Definitive DRCD11176 (disc 3, track 19)
    Edel 0193692ERE (track 25)
    Frémeaux FA 244 (disc 2, track 11)
    Jazz Archives / EPM 15908 2 (track 17)
    Le Chant du Monde 274 1459.60 (disc 2, track 16)
    Masters of Jazz MJCD 74 (track 12)
    Membran 222777 [see Album Index]
    Membran 222800 [see Album Index]
    Membran 232094 [see Album Index]
    Membran 232568 [see Album Index]
    Membran 233423 [see Album Index]
    Proper P1490 (track 21)
    Proper PROPERBOX 98 (disc 2, track 21)
    Signature SIGNCD2278 (track 13)
    Sony/Legacy 93035 (disc 3, track 7)
    Universe / Comet UV 129/2 (disc 2, track 8)


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