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Charlie Christian: The Genius of the Electric Guitar

Charlie B. Dahan By

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Never has a title of an album or anthology been more on the money than the new Charlie Christian boxset entitled “The Genius of Electric Guitar.” The more profound aspect of this collection is that when you are listening you are amazed that only two years existed between his discovery in Oklahoma by John Hammond and his death due to tuberculosis at the age of twenty-five.

While Christian was not the first musician to play the electric guitar, use the electric guitar in a jazz setting, nor the first to treat the electric guitar as a lead instrument, he was the first to put all of these ideas together and set the tone for generations ahead of him.

While this four disc collection is a study of Christian’s recording career, it also puts Benny Goodman, from whose recordings this collection is culminated, into a more positive light. One usually thinks of the pop big band sound when they think of Goodman, not the creative and masterful bandleader he was with the Sextet and Septet that featured Christian and Lionel Hampton.

Choice cuts include such standards as “Stardust,” “Rose Room,” (which was the song that Christian ‘auditioned’ on for Goodman) and “Honeysuckle Rose,” but this collection includes many outtakes and live cuts (which in clued 27 unissued tracks in the U.S., 17 of which have never been made available to the public world-wide) that further display Christian’s the sensitive touch in the rhythm and trail-blazing solos and leads.

This collection successfully examines and proves that Christian was one of the great innovators of jazz and that his technique requires exploration by every guitarist that picks up a guitar no matter the genre.

Track Listing: Flying Home; Rose Room; Star Dust; Memories Of You; Soft Winds; Seven Come Eleven; Shivers; AC-DC Current; I'm Confessin'; Till Tom Special; Gone With What Wind; The Sheik of Araby; Poor Butterfly; I Surrender, Dear; Boy Meets Goy (Grand Slam); These Foolish Things; Flying Home; Memories Of You; Soft Winds; Shivers; Gone With What Wind; The Sheik Of Araby; I Surrender, Dear; Boy Meets Goy (Grand Slam); These Foolish Things; Six Appeal (My Daddy Rocks Me); Good Enough to Keep (Air Mail Special); Ad Lib Blues; Wholly Cats; Charlie's Dream; I Never Knew; Lester's Dream; Wholly Cats; Wholly Cats; Royal Garden Blues; As Long as I Live; Benny's Bugle; Gilly; Six Appeal (My Daddy Rocks Me); Six Appeal (My Daddy Rocks Me); Six Appeal (My Daddy Rocks Me); Good Enough to Keep (Air Mail Special); Good Enough to Keep (Air Mail Special); Wholly Cats; Wholly Cats; Wholly Cats; Royal Garden Blues; Royal Garden Blues; As Long As I Live; Gilly; Gilly; Breakfast Feud; I Can't Give You Anything But Love; Breakfast Feud; On the Alamo; I Found a New Baby; Gone With What Draft; A Smo-o-o-oth One; Air Mail Special (Good Enough to Keep); Breakfast Feud; Breakfast Feud; Breakfast Feud; Breakfast Feud; I Can't Give You Anything But Love; I Can't Give You Anything But Love; Breakfast Feud; Breakfast Feud; Breakfast Feud; I Found a New Baby; Gone With What Draft; Gone With What Draft; A Smo-o-o-oth One; A Smo-o-o-oth One; Air Mail Special (Good Enough to Keep); All Star Strut; Honeysuckle Rose; Li'l Boy Love; Solo Flight; All Star Strut; Li'l Boy Love; Solo Flight;; Poor Butterfly; I Surrender, Dear; I Surrender, Dear; Six Appeal (My Daddy Rocks Me); Six Appeal (My Daddy Rocks Me); These Foolish Things; Tune Up & Blues; Wholly Cats; Breakfast Feud; Breakfast Feud; Gilly (Gone With What Draft; All Star Strut; Benny's Bugle; Benny's Bugle.

Personnel: Charlie Christian- electric guitar; Benny Goodman- clarinet; Lionel Hampton- vibraphone; Fletcher Henderson, Johnny Guarnieri, Count Basie, Ken Kersey, Fletcher Henderson, Dudley Brooks, Jess Stacy- piano; Bob Haggart, Artie Bernstein, Walter Page- bass; Gene Krupa, Nick Fatool, Harry Jaeger, Jo Jones, Davey Tough- drums; Harry James, Irving Goodman, Jimmy Maxwell, Johnny Martel, Cootie Williams, Alec Fila, Buck Clayton, Ziggy Elman- trumpet; Jack Teagarden, Lou McGarity, Cutty Cutshall, Red Ballard, Vernon Brown, Ted Vesely- trombone; Benny Carter, Skippy Martin, Les Robinson, Gus Bivona, Toots Mondello, Buff Estes- alto saxophone; Bus Bassey, Jerry Jerome, Pete Mondello, Eddie Miller, Lester Young, Georgie Auld- tenor saxophone; Bob Snyder- baritone saxophone; Freddie Green- acoustic rhythm guitar; Arnold Covey- guitar; Helen Forrest- vocal on

Title: The Genius Of The Electric Guitar | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Sony-Legacy Music


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