Charlie Christian

1939-1940, Vol. 1-4

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Charles Henry Christian was born in Bonham, TX on July 29, 1916 and succumbed to chronic pulmonary and ileocecal tuberculosis in New York City on March 2, 1942. During that brief lifespan, he developed an unprecedented ability to improvise on the electrically amplified guitar and became internationally famous as Benny Goodman's featured soloist. During the 1990s, the Masters of Jazz historic reissue label set a precedent for the careful reappraisal of Christian's complex and only partially studio-recorded legacy. The producers did this by lining up selected air shots, location recordings, and studio takes in chronological sequence, beginning with music that materialized on August 19, 1939 (three days after Christian auditioned for Benny Goodman in Los Angeles and sat in with Goodman's band at the French Garden Room of the Victor Hugo Restaurant in Beverly Hills on the evening of the same day) and following his footsteps to the Columbia recording session of November 7, 1940, when pianist Count Basie sat in with the Benny Goodman Sextet. Eight volumes in this series cover much of the recorded evidence from Christian's meteoric career; volumes one through four, issued separately and as a four-CD set, paint a fascinating portrait of a young innovator at large during an exciting and transitional period in the evolution of jazz from swing to bop. A ninth volume, appended to the series in 2001, contained remastered versions of some tracks along with previously unheard rarities.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:09
2 2:23
3 3:21
4 5:59
5 5:42
6 4:37
7 3:11
8 3:18
9 2:46
10 3:13
11 3:53
12 2:32
13 3:14
14 3:02
15 2:56
16 2:25
17 3:10
18 2:25
19 2:54
20
feat: Ida Cox
3:07

Track Listing - Disc 2

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:50
2 3:09
3 3:06
4 2:25
5 2:23
6 2:41
7 2:57
8 2:39
9 2:24
10 3:03
11 2:27
12 2:40
13 2:43
14 2:53
15 3:12
16 3:02
17 3:52
18 3:58
19 3:44
20 2:29
21 9:30

Track Listing - Disc 3

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:19
2 3:08
3 2:33
4
1:18
5
3:06
6
3:08
7 3:05
8 3:13
9 3:23
10 3:36
11 3:16
12 2:51
13 3:25
14 3:00
15 2:50
16 3:56
17 2:18
18 2:22
19 3:16
20 4:14

Track Listing - Disc 4

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:17
2 3:10
3 2:54
4 2:35
5 2:39
6 2:24
7
feat: Eddy Howard
2:51
8
feat: Eddy Howard
3:21
9 3:44
10 3:01
11 3:15
12 3:19
13 3:19
14 3:14
15 2:59
16 3:05
17 3:02
18 3:03
19 3:02
blue highlight denotes track pick