Charlie Christian: “Breakfast Feud” (Extended Edit)

This 6m10s edit of the Benny Goodman sextet’s “Breakfast Feud” (1940-1941) includes the Charlie Christian electric guitar solos from all nine studio takes of the song.

Christian’s tragically short life and the short-solo format (20-30 seconds) of 3-minute jazz songs meant that we only got to hear him stretch out a little bit on the impromptu jam, “Waiting for Benny.” Charlie Christian surviving into the bop and rock eras would have been a thing of wonder, for sure. 

The whopping nine takes of “Breakfast Feud” provide three-and-a-half minutes of lightning Christian solos. Those are edited together here, in the context of the whole performance. 

The establishing take is the first master take, and the concluding one is the next-to-last alternate take - the first an arbitrary choice, the second a random editing outcome.

Six takes feature:

  • Clarinet: Benny Goodman
  • Guitar: Charlie Christian
  • Bass – Artie Bernstein
  • Drums – Harry Jaeger
  • Piano – Ken Kersey
  • Tenor Saxophone – George Auld
  • Trumpet – Cootie Williams

Three takes substitute:

  • Drums – Jo Jones
  • Piano – Count Basie

The piano solo on the edit is Kersey, but I think it’s Basie cackling at the end of the concluding take. The early 1940s small groups kick ass. 

6 responses
Thank you for these extended versions. Must have been a lot of work. i commend you. They just didn't solo then , like they do now. From what I was told he played only on the downstroke and never hit the strings on the uptake. Still, an amazing player who left us with all too little. Thank you.
Mark, thanks for this appreciative comment. It's actually not too hard to edit these Goodman takes, because the band was so tight. The main thing was choosing how to handle brassy bursts that overlapped with Christian's first solo note or two. Fascinating insight about downstroke/uptake.
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