DB Hall of Fame

SOLO  FLIGHT

THE  CHARLIE  CHRISTIAN  LEGACY

DB Hall of Fame


 

 

WHOLLY CATS
 
mx  CO 29027-Y
 
NOVEMBER  7,  1940     Thursday Columbia Studios,  NYC
 

 
  12-BAR  BLUES Key of   G Quarter Note =   206 Time:   3:01
 
 
  4-Bar  Intro  +  13  CHORUSES:
 
    4 bars  –  piano (Intro)
 
    2 chor  –  muted trumpet (over CC & ens theme riffs)
 
    2 chor  –  tenor sax
 
    2 chor  –  piano (accomp by bass & drums)
 
    2 chor  –  CC (over clt riffs)
 
    2 chor  –  clarinet
 
    2 chor  –  muted trumpet (over CC & ens riffs)
 
    1 chor  –  CC & ensemble (theme riffs)
 
 

 
Personnel:
 
  Benny Goodman and his Sextet
  CHARLIE CHRISTIAN Guitar
  GEORGIE AULD tenor sax
  BENNY GOODMAN clarinet
  COOTIE WILLIAMS trumpet
  COUNT BASIE piano
  ARTIE BERNSTEIN bass
  HARRY JAEGER drums
 
 

Composed by: Benny Goodman
 
©   VALDÉS   10/6/18


 

Take Three:     Wholly Cats    CO 29027-Y

 



C&A:

The recording of this tune marks the first of the mini-marathon recording dates at the Columbia studios during the rest of 1940 through the first month of the following year.  Much of the material from these sessions was first released on CD in 1993 on the Jazz Unlimited (Denmark) label with the title “The Rehearsal Sessions • 1940-41 • Featuring Charlie Christian” some of which had been on LPs from several labels two decades earlier.

Charlie Christian had been recorded once before on Wholly Cats, just ten days earlier, but with a very different cast and in a different key.  These six studio takes seem like a completely different tune.  Charles is allotted only two blues choruses (in the key of G) on which to solo whereas on the previous date, a rehearsal, he got three choruses (in C).

CO 29027-W   (take 1)
Charles begins his solo with a duplicate of his AC-DC Current guitar intro.  The solo on this initial take is mostly variations on phrases heard before, but there’s no lack of enthusiasm … although the racket from the horns in their backing riffs just clouds over the featured voice.

CO 29027-X   (take 2)
The sextet has settled down now on the second take.  The riffing during Charles’ solo seems more organized and CC himself takes a smoother solo with longer lines and more purpose.  Still coasting on the first chorus before he goes on a tear on the second.

CO 29027-Y   (take 3)
The clarinet is now practically the only horn riffing behind the guitar solo so that has cleared up most of the clutter.  Charles seems to be fully energized now.  He plays a favorite dom-7 run on mm 5-6 that he engenders to sound refreshingly new.  Charles is now treating the dominant D7 bars (mm 9-10) as a subdominant C7 section in the first chorus of his two-chorus solo – and here he delays playing the last G measures (mm 11-12) for almost a full bar giving them just four quick notes.  His second chorus (m 7) contains a super-fast version of some familiar downward arpeggios.

CO 29027-z   (breakdown–no solo)
After the intro and trumpet solo, this fourth take breaks down at the start of the tenor sax solo.

CO 29027-1   (take 5)
All the horns are back again on the riffs behind Charles’ solo.  His first chorus is somewhat subdued.  He starts a phrase at bar 5 the runs back into a repeat – coasting a bit here.  But on the second chorus CC lets go with some rather spectacular slides.  And tops the solo off with dramatic G°7 effects.  The sequence in bar 10 of the second chorus is a D7 version of the C7 in bar 5 but he starts it out in a very unorthodox manner.

CO 29027-2   (take 6)
The original 22 November 1940 release of this tune, on Columbia 35810, was of the fifth take (CO 29027-1) but some later pressings included this last take which contains, overall, Charlie Christian’s better solo.

 


 
Issued Recordings:
 
  [ LP ] CBS 2BP 220094 (side C, track 1)
    CBS 67233 (side C, track 1)
    CBS / Sony 56AP 674-6 (side D, track 3)
    CBS / Sony SOPZ4-6 (side D, track 3)
    Columbia CG 30779 (side C, track 1)
    Columbia CG 33566 (side C, track 3)
    Columbia G 30779 (side C, track 1)
 
  [ CD ] Columbia/Legacy AC4K 65564 (disc 2, track 21)
    Columbia/Legacy C4K 65564 (disc 2, track 21)
    Jazz Unlimited JUCD 2013 (track 3)
    Masters of Jazz MJCD 44 (track 17)
    Masters of Jazz MJCD 9004 (disc 4, track 17)
    Masters of Jazz R2CD 8004 (disc 2, track 1)
    Proper / musisoft EMCD 21 (track 5)
    Red Baron J2K 75057 (disc 2, track 3)
    Sony/Legacy 93035 (disc 2, track 21)
    Sony Music A2 33566 (disc 2, track 3)
    Sony Music W2K 75057 (disc 2, track 3)
 

 



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