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The Immortal Charlie Christian

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Customer Reviews

'Scuse Charlie while he invents burnin' jazz guitar . . .

Don't let the recording quality fool you - Charlie takes no prisoners on these tunes, especially the first 2 cuts. Recorded at the legendary Minton's Playhouse jam sessions in NYC in 1941, Charlie was way ahead of his time on this stuff.

This is an authentic recording by a fan

If you want to hear Charlie Christian unrestrained in a jamming environment, this is one to hear, especially Swing to Bop. For guitarists, like myself... learn 15 seconds of anything CC plays on Swing to Bop, and it'll head your playing in an entirely new direction. The recording is less than studio quality because it was recorded by a fan who set up a reel-to-reel machine on a table in the bar. It's amazing that such a recording even is available for us to hear 60+ years later.

Christian's only on first half of cuts

Cuts 6 thru 10 are actually Diz and Bird recordings (which can be found in many other compilations), with no Charlie Christian in evidence. Remo Palmier is the guitarist of record for these cuts. The first five cuts are indeed Mr. Christian jamming in Harlem with Joe Guy, and possibly Hot Lips Page and Thelonius Monk, Dizzy Gillespie. These recordings are amateur and Lo-fi, but a must for any aspiring jazz guitarist, jazz guitar fan, or birth of Bop historian. There's another collection that has the complete Christian jam sessions, found under the title: After Hours by Charlie Christian.


Born: July 29, 1916 in Dallas, TX

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s

It can be said without exaggeration that virtually every jazz guitarist that emerged during 1940-65 sounded like a relative of Charlie Christian. The first important electric guitarist, Christian played his instrument with the fluidity, confidence, and swing of a saxophonist. Although technically a swing stylist, his musical vocabulary was studied and emulated by the bop players, and when one listens to players ranging from Tiny Grimes, Barney Kessel, and Herb Ellis, to Wes Montgomery and George...
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