DB Hall of Fame

SOLO  FLIGHT

THE  CHARLIE  CHRISTIAN  LEGACY

DB Hall of Fame


 

 

STOMPIN’ AT THE SAVOY
 
Jam Session
 
MAY  8,  1941     Thursday “MINTON’S  PLAYHOUSE”
Hotel Cecil,  210 West 118th Street
Harlem,  NYC
 

 
  32 BARS    (AABA) Key of   Db Quarter Note =   208 Time:   10:28
 
 
  17  CHORUSES  +  2-Bar Tag:
 
  1  chor  –  ensemble (Theme)
 
  2  chor  –  tenor sax (over CC riffs on last 24 bars)
 
  1  chor  –  trumpet (over CC riffs)
 
  2  chor  –  CC
 
  3  chor  –  trumpet
 
  3  chor  –  alto sax (over CC chords on last 10 bars)
 
  5  chor  –  CC  &  ens (collective improvisation)
 
  2  bars  –  CC  &  tpt (tag)
 
 

 
Personnel:
 
  CHARLIE CHRISTIAN Guitar
  RUDY WILLIAMS alto sax
  DON BYAS tenor sax
  KERMIT SCOTT tenor sax
  JOE GUY trumpet
  HOT LIPS PAGE trumpet
  “TEX” piano
  NICK FENTON bass
  KENNY CLARKE drums
 
 

 
Issued Recordings:
 
  [ CD ] Masters of Jazz MJCD 189
 
 

 
  Jam Session Recorded by  JERRY NEWMAN
 

Composed by: Eddie Durham - Edgar Battle
 
©   VALDÉS   8/31/01

 


 

Page 1:   Guitar Riffs behind trumpet solo

Page 2:   Guitar Solo:  1st Chorus

Page 3:   Guitar Solo:  2nd Chorus

Page 4:   Guitar Chords behind alto sax solo

Page 5:   Collective Improvisation:  1st Chorus

Page 6:   Collective Improvisation:  2nd Chorus

Page 7:   Collective Improvisation:  3rd Chorus

Page 8:   Collective Improvisation:  4th Chorus

Page 9:   Collective Improvisation:  5th Chorus

 



C&A:

This jam session is a hoot.  The ensemble starts off at a good clip with the Stompin’ at the Savoy theme and right away you can tell it’s going to be a wild ride.  The horns (2 trumpets and 3 saxes) play or paraphrase the theme or riff along.   One of the tenor saxes then takes the first solo with the trumpets riffing behind him.  On Scott’s second chorus, Charlie Christian can be heard riffing in the background but most of it is not recorded clearly enough to transcribe accurately.

Then, just before Lips starts his solo, CC comes in strongly and continues to riff behind the trumpet till just before he takes his own solo.  CC’s two-chorus solo has no horn riffing and is perfectly audible except for an unfortunate eight-bar recording-level drop at the beginning of the second chorus.  Trumpeter Guy follows with a three-chorus solo;  then it’s the alto sax (Williams) with three choruses on which CC turns up his amp for some beautiful, perfectly-placed staccato chords on the last ten bars of the alto’s third chorus [hard to transcribe those choppy chords but I gave it a shot].

After that is when the five choruses of collective improvisation start and it doesn’t take long before it begins to get pretty wild on the bandstand—at times it gets so chaotic that the rhythm almost flies out the window.  Charles can be clearly heard throughout with one exception:  Klook’s drums are a delight all the way through but he gets slightly out of hand at the end of the bridge on the next-to-final chorus where they obscure most everything.  Some of Charles’ contributions on the A (non-bridge) sections are some truly amazing swing-at-all-costs, single-note rhythmic stroking.  On all the bridges though, he does some serious soloing.

There’s a real shocker on the second chorus of the collective improv:  CC apparently starts playing the bridge eight bars early before he pulls up after three bars—that’s the only time I can remember him losing track like that but that goes with the nature of an all-out jam.  One of Charles’ favorite devices on the E7 portion of the bridge is found here on both the third and fourth choruses of the ensemble improv—ringing out a long, open low-E-string while he solos over it.

There are numerous passages on this jam that you won’t hear on any of CC’s other recordings—some simple, some not.  My favorite, at the moment, might be some subtle variations on the first two bars of the bridge on the fourth collective improv chorus.

The sound quality is not the best, but if you give this stompin’ a close listen a few times you will be rewarded.  What you have here is Charlie Christian and some of his colleagues having a great time and thoroughly enjoying their musically talented selves.  This is what jazz is;  this is real jazz…and a real hoot!

 



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