DB Hall of Fame

SOLO  FLIGHT

THE  CHARLIE  CHRISTIAN  LEGACY

DB Hall of Fame


 

 

SOLO FLIGHT
 
mx   CO 29865-2
 
MARCH  4,  1941      Tuesday Columbia Studios,  NYC
 

 
  16-BAR  SECTIONS Key of   C / F Quarter Note =   178 Time:   2:46
 
  16-Bar Form:
  Section  A: Key of  C  –  16 bars   (AABC)
  Section  B: Key of  F  –  16 bars   (AABA)
 
 
  8-Bar Intro  +   7  SECTIONS    [AAABABA]   +   2-Bar Coda:
 
      6  bars  –  orchestra (Intro)
    2  bars  –  CC (Intro)    (unaccomp)
 
  16  bars  –  CC [sec A]
 
  16  bars  –  CC [sec A]
 
  16  bars  –  CC [sec A]
 
  16  bars  –  CC [sec B]
 
    8  bars  –  CC
    4  bars  –  orchestra [sec A]
    4  bars  –  CC
 
  16  bars  –  clarinet [sec B]
 
    8  bars  –  CC
    4  bars  –  orchestra [sec A]
    4  bars  –  CC (break)
 
    2  bars  –  orchestra (coda)
 
 

 
Personnel:
 
  Benny Goodman and his Orchestra
  CHARLIE CHRISTIAN Guitar
  SKIP MARTIN alto sax
  GEORGIE AULD tenor sax
  PETE MONDELLO tenor sax
  BOB SNYDER baritone sax
  BENNY GOODMAN clarinet
  COOTIE WILLIAMS trumpet
  ALEC FILA trumpet
  JIMMY MAXWELL trumpet
  IRVING GOODMAN trumpet
  LOU McGARITY trombone
  CUTTY CUTSHALL trombone
  MIKE BRYAN guitar
  JOHNNY GUARNIERI piano
  ARTIE BERNSTEIN bass
  DAVE TOUGH drums
 
  Arranged by  JIMMY MUNDY
 

 
Issued Recordings:
 
  [ EP ] Columbia B-504
 
  [ LP ] Avan-Guard VSLP 213
    CBS 52538
    CBS 62.387
    CBS / Sony 56AP 674-6 (side 6, track 2)
    Columbia CL 652
    Coronet / CBS KLP 510
    Giants of Jazz LPJT 13
    Philips BBL 7172
    Phontastic NOST 7615
    Time-Life STL-J12
 
  [ CD ] BD Jazz JZBD022
    Best of Jazz 4032
    CBS / Sony 25DP 5301
    Columbia/Legacy AC4K 65564 (disc 4, track 7)
    Columbia/Legacy C4K 65564 (disc 4, track 7)
    Columbia CK 40834 *
    Dreyfus Jazz FDM 36715-2
    Frémeaux FA 218 (disc 2, track 9)
    Friedman / Fairfax 9076 2
    Hallmark 33036 2
    Jazz Greats MC 006
    Jazz Greats MC 027 **
    Masters of Jazz MJCD 74 (track 8)
    Masters of Jazz R2CD 8004
    Phontastic NCD 8822
    Proper / musisoft EMCD 21
    Sony/Legacy 93035 (disc 4, track 7)
    Sony Music A 24382
    Universe UV 129/2 (disc 2, track 16)
 
 
  *   [CD]  CK 40834  lists the incorrect take.
  **
 
  [CD]  MC 027  incorrectly notes that this is a different take than the one on  [CD]  MC 006.
 

Composed by: Charlie Christian - Jimmy Mundy - Benny Goodman
 
©   VALDÉS   4/14/99

 


 

First Page:     Intro & Section I

Second Page:    Section II & III

Third Page:       Section IV & V

Fourth Page:   Section VI & VII


C&A:

This was the second Solo Flight take recorded at this studio session but was not released until it turned up on LP in April 1955.  The story goes that this was the take originally selected for release but that Goodman liked his solo better on the first take and that was the one that came out on the 78-rpm record.  To me the band sounds a little tighter on this take and I like Charlie Christian’s solo a bit more, but that may be because it was the first version I ever heard (many, many times over—I had to buy another copy of the LP after totally wearing out both sides).

Charles is running changes here (superbly)—mostly one per measure, sometimes two per measure.  No other composition that he recorded changes chords that fast.  It’s all in the key of C except for one section in F.

The intro sounds like it was composed entirely by CC.  The two-bar guitar intro is a “written” part.  It’s pretty much the same on all four recorded versions of Solo Flight fitting in flawlessly with the band’s part of the intro.

Section I
Charles begins his solo much better than on the other studio take.  His opening goes all the way through bar 5.  The next phrase runs through four chords all the way into bar 10.  The octaves at mm 7-8 show up again at bar 13 in section V.  I’ve always loved that beautiful sequence at mm 10-12.  It connects his previous statements with the section-closing phrase perfectly.

Section II
This is the smoothest part of CC’s solo and may be my favorite section of all.  Sublime throughout.

Section III
Even though he uses a very common phrase, Charlie Christian’s entrance to this section still sounds stimulating—his swing phrasing is so perfect.  The beauty from the previous section carries over for about the next eight measures (not that there’s anything wrong with the rest of this section).

Section IV  (in F)
CC’s solos on the “B” section of the different versions of this tune don’t vary all that much.  The first eight measures are about the same as on the other studio take.  On the “bridge” (mm 9-12) he uses the same finger pattern as he did on the previous take, each measure with its own contour (different contours from the other take as well).  Then again the repeated Fs on alternating strings on mm 14-15.

Section V
CC usually uses the half-step figure found on mm 7-8 on major chords (as he does on his two-bar intro on this tune) but also occasionally on minor (as here and on mm 3 in the same section of the first take) and dominant chords.  The octaves he used twice in the first take and in section I of this take (mm 7-8) appear at bar 13.

Section VI  (in F)
Goodman takes his clarinet solo here—I don’t know how he determined that this solo was any worse than the one on the first take.  I skip this section when listening to this tune or, if re-recording it, I insert CC’s “B” section solo from the other take.

Section VII
The first eight measures are very nicely done (although not on par with the last section of the first take), lays out for four, then closes out as on the other take.

 



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