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. The
band sounds a little tighter on this take and I like Charlie Christians solo a bit
more, but that may be because it was the first version I ever heard (many, many times
overI 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.
Its all in the key of C except for one section in F (designated as B section).
The intro sounds like it was composed entirely by CC. The two-bar guitar intro is
a written part. Its pretty much the same on all four recorded
versions of Solo Flight fitting in flawlessly with the bands part of the
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. Ive
always loved that beautiful sequence at mm 10-12. It connects his previous
statements with the section-closing phrase perfectly.
This is the smoothest part of CCs solo and may be my favorite section of all.
Even though he uses a very common phrase, Charlie Christians entrance to this
section still sounds stimulatinghis swing phrasing is so perfect. The beauty
from the previous section carries over for about the next eight measures (not that
theres anything wrong with the rest of this section).
Section IV (in F)
CCs solos on the B section of the different versions of this tune
dont 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.
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 hereI dont 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 CCs B section
solo from the other take.
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.