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MUSICIAN Born:

Charlie Christian

As the man who popularized the guitar in a jazz setting, his legacy lives on. Charlie Christian was born on July 29, 1916 in Bonham, Texas but was raised in Oklahoma City from the time he was two years old. Charlie's immediate family were all musically talented - his mother played the piano; his father sang and played the trumpet and guitar; his brother, Clarence, played the violin and the mandolin; and his oldest brother, Edward, played the string bass. His parents made a living writing accompaniments for silent movies. At the age of twelve, Charlie was playing on a guitar that he had made from a cigar box in a manual training class

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Michael Cuscuna: In The Vault Playing God

Read "Michael Cuscuna: In The Vault Playing God" reviewed by AAJ Staff

From the 1995-2003 archive: This article first appeared at All About Jazz in December 2000. Michael Cuscuna is one of the most important figures in the jazz reissue field today. He has been responsible for hundreds of releases for many companies, and he was fortunate to meet and befriend Alfred Lion during the final ...

Charlie Parker: Ten High Flying Albums Of Paradigm Shifting Genius

Read "Charlie Parker: Ten High Flying Albums Of Paradigm Shifting Genius" reviewed by Chris May

Born in Kansas City, Kansas in 1920, and brought up across the state line in anything-goes, jazz-friendly Kansas City, Missouri, controlled from the mid 1920s to the late 1930s by the spectacularly corrupt politician Tom Prendergast, alto saxophonist Charlie Parker lived fast and hard and passed in 1955, aged only 34 years. A founding father of ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Paul Gonsalves @ 100 And More July Birthdays

Read "Paul Gonsalves @ 100 And More July Birthdays" reviewed by Marc Cohn

Time to celebrate July birthdays! Among the living, David Sanborn @ 75, pianist Mark Soskin, trumpeter Theo Croker, Kenny Burrell and Ahmad Jamal @ 90! We celebrate the saxophonists: Paul Gonsalves @ 100 and Hank Mobley @ 90. Along the way, birthday salutes to Philly Joe Jones, Lee Morgan, Charlie Christian, pianist Billy Taylor and Johnny ...

NEWS: BIRTHDAY

Jazz Musician of the Day: Charlie Christian

Jazz Musician of the Day: Charlie Christian

All About Jazz is celebrating Charlie Christian's birthday today! As the man who popularized the guitar in a jazz setting, his legacy lives on. Charlie Christian was born on July 29, 1916 in Bonham, Texas but was raised in Oklahoma City from the time he was two years old. Charlie's immediate family were all musically talented- ...

Brandon “Taz” Niederauer: A Minor with a Major Future

Read "Brandon “Taz” Niederauer: A Minor with a Major Future" reviewed by Alan Bryson

Though only seventeen, guitarist/singer/songwriter Brandon Niederauer has amassed a staggering list of accomplishments. At age ten he was a guest and performer on The Ellen DeGeneres Show--the YouTube clip of which has over 3,200,000 views. Two years later he landed a role in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Broadway Musical, School of Rock. He has performed a Hendrixesque version ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Hedvig Mollestad: Ekhidna

Read "Ekhidna" reviewed by Gareth Thompson

In 2003, the English writer John Murray published his Booker Prize-listed novel Jazz Etc. It narrated the life and times of a female guitarist, the improbably named Fanny Golightly, from working class Cumbria. One observer in the story describes Golightly's playing thus: “I suppose jazz is the only name for it. It was as delirious as ...

Sex & Drugs & Jazz & Jive: Top Ten Stash Records Albums

Read "Sex & Drugs & Jazz & Jive: Top Ten Stash Records Albums" reviewed by Chris May

With all the transgressive flair you would expect of bohemian New York City in the 1970s and 1980s, Bernie Brightman's Stash Records made its name with a hugely entertaining series of sex and drugs-themed compilations of swing-era recordings. The first was Reefer Songs in 1976. But Brightman's legacy extends much further. There was a finite amount ...

ARTICLE: TOP TEN LIST

B.B. King: Through the Years

Read "B.B. King: Through the Years" reviewed by Alan Bryson

Sixty-six years passed from the time in 1948 when Riley King auditioned for a spot on Sonny Boy Williamson's radio program, until his final performance at the House of Blues on October 3, 2014 in Chicago. His life was a remarkable odyssey from a sharecropper's cabin to the pinnacle of success. We'll never know how many ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Tim Stine Trio: Fresh Demons

Read "Fresh Demons" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

There was a time when making progression with jazz guitar meant plugging in. Charlie Christian did this and took jazz guitar playing to a new level. But these days, the most radical thing a jazz guitarist can do is to plug out and play acoustically. While an endless number of electric guitarists explore a rock-oriented approach ...


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