Search - Charlie Christian :: Genius of the Electric Guitar

Genius of the Electric Guitar
Charlie Christian
Genius of the Electric Guitar
Genres: Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #1

Charlie Christian was dead of TB at 25, but his impact on modern jazz in general and electric guitarists in particular is incalculable. Yet another southwestern musician who came under the spell of tenor innovator Lester Y...  more »


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All Artists: Charlie Christian
Title: Genius of the Electric Guitar
Members Wishing: 6
Total Copies: 0
Label: Sony
Release Date: 10/25/1990
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Styles: Swing Jazz, Bebop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 074644084627

Charlie Christian was dead of TB at 25, but his impact on modern jazz in general and electric guitarists in particular is incalculable. Yet another southwestern musician who came under the spell of tenor innovator Lester Young, Christian also learned valuable lessons from arranger/trombonist/electric guitarist Eddie Durham--who recorded the first six-string electric solo on Basie's "Time Out" and taught Christian the value of downstrokes. Christian's horn-like phrasing style and genius for setting up repeated rhythmic figures (known as riffs) anticipated the bebop revolution to come--and was a major influence on Thelonious Monk and Wes Montgomery. As a member of the Benny Goodman Sextet, Christian brought a renewed sense of swing and blues authority to the clarinetist's combo, where on numbers such as "Seven Come Eleven" he set everything in motion with only a few well-placed notes. His invigorating brand of tension and release reaches its rhythmic apex on his big band feature "Solo Flight" and an all-star bash with Goodman, Basie, Cootie Williams, and Jo Jones on "Breakfast Feud" and "I Found A New Baby." --Chip Stern

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You Jazz Types Need To Loosen Up
Former Archivist General of the Uni | Bridgewater, NJ | 06/19/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I like my Coltrane and Mingus and Monk too, but Jiminey H. Crowe, you can't give this stuff just 3 stars! This is Charlie Christian sneaking in the back door of the biggest stage available in popular music at the time and hi-jacking American culture from the facile and the banal back to solid musicianship, compelling (while seemingly effortless) syncopation, an expanded tonal palate without sacrificing a steady blues sensibility. It's not just complexity that bakes the biscuit. Complexity alone makes the girls yawn and go home. Here Charlie invigorates the blues while rocking the cradle of the Swing Era, rock guitar, and BeBop all at once, and even the great Benny gets taken to school. Three stars? Wake up!"
Let us see.....
Gregory Monk | Brookhaven, MS | 04/03/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Charlie Christian is an outstanding guitar player. His guitar playing is cutting edge and very modern. However, this record does not give you the full picture of his genius. This record is the most available Christian record, and if you go to the right shop, you can probably find it for a preety good price. So anyone interested in Christian should pick it up by all means. There are some great highlights on this disc, i.e. Air Mail Special, Solo Flight, and Waiting for Benny. Plus you get to hear some incredible Cootie Williams trumpet solos (man he is hot, see Air Mail Special, woo wee). Overall,you do begin to get an idea of Christian's genius. However, if you really want to experience the man at work, you should check out some of his "after hours at Minton's" stuff. Such as the "Immortal Charlie Christian". This record not only documents Charlie at his best, but you get to take part in the some very early BeBop. Alongside Dizzy and Monk, you get this all star band going at it the way they want. So, "The Genius of the Electric Guitar" is a good record to start off with, of course, but please check out other Christian stuff. You will not be sorry you did."
Genius guitarist, not sure about the album
lexo-2 | 11/13/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Charlie Christian was an innovator of Hendrixoid stature. He invented electric guitar improvisation, by virtue of realising that the fuller, richer sound of the amplified guitar was suited to a new kind of music. His influence on bebop has been confirmed; while he wasn't especially ambitious harmonically, he did have a supple and daring sense of rhythm that provoked people like Thelonious Monk (with whom Christian jammed) to make some of the most creative and fascinating music of our time.A shame, then, that this is his most readily available testament. While the performances are all good, this is Christian in relatively restrained form, taking short solos on record dates with Benny Goodman (who ripped off many of Christian's phrases and turned them into credit without crediting their inventor), and Christian is better heard live. His invention was formidable, and I have a French live CD in which he solos without flagging for minutes on end. He was a genius, all right, but CBS can do better than this."