For this session the current recording-studio pianist for the sextet was
back and he brought along his own, first-rate drummer with him. And, instead
of the three horns trading twos on the penultimate bridge of the tune, the
pianist is assigned the 8-bar bridge for his solo (Basie had been getting
special billing since the November session: “Benny Goodman and his Sextet
featuring Count Basie”). The rest of the routine remained unchanged from the
initial recordings of the tune on the previous Columbia session but the
tempo is slightly slower, and more suitable, now.
Aside from the Eddie Durham-derived cadenza, Gone with What Draft is based
on Fats Waller’s Honeysuckle Rose changes – one can hear snatches of that
melody on occasion during the clarinet solo.
Unlike the rejected takes of Gone with What Draft on the December session, a
take from this January session was selected for release two months later.
The issued version was take -1, however, take -3 turned out to be the one
most often released commercially. An abrupt, unissued breakdown was also recorded along with the three complete
(first released in 1955 on Columbia LP
“Charlie Christian with The Benny Goodman Sextet and Orchestra” as Gone With What Draft)
(first released in 1973 on Jazz Archives LP
“Charlie Christian & Lester Young –Together, 1940” as Gone With What Draft)
(master take released in March 1941 on Columbia 78-rpm as Gone With What Draft)
in “Charlie Christian • Volume 6 •
1940-1941” Masters of Jazz MJCD 68:
There is no major change compared to the three versions cut on
the previous 19 December, except that a piano solo has been
inserted after the Charlie Christian breaks (all literally the
same) in place of a series of brief exchanges between trumpet
and saxophone. An interesting point is that the closing riff of
this piece is Charlie’s invention, and that his second phrase is
simply a repeat of the first advanced by one beat. This is a
very old trick (that Philippe Baudoin will tell you goes back to
ragtime), one Charlie Christian much favored, and its rhythmic
effect is appealingly enigmatic.
The following month, the sextet would record Gone with What Draft
two more times, on broadcasts from the “Fitch Bandwagon” and “What’s New?–The
Old Gold Show” radio programs.