Packed with multiple takes that might scare away the timid, this is volume six in the complete recordings of guitarist Charlie Christian as compiled and released during the '90s by the Masters of Jazz label. It traces his path through various sessions which took place between December 19, 1940 and February 5, 1941, involving the Benny Goodman Sextet (with and without Count Basie), the Metronome All Star Band (see "One O'Clock Jump"), and lastly, Edmond Hall's Celeste Quartet. This little Blue Note band combined the musical personalities of Charlie Christian, clarinetist Edmond Hall, string bassist Israel Crosby, and boogie-woogie master Meade "Lux" Lewis, who knocked the stuffing out of the celeste, a keyboard instrument that mimics a glockenspiel but might sound to some ears like a well-tuned toy piano. (Fats Waller used the celeste to augment his regular 88s on numerous recordings made during the '30s and early '40s.) One special thing about this intimate session is the fact that Christian operates a guitar without the use of electrical amplification. This enables him to engage in some wonderful interplay with the other three musicians, especially Israel Crosby, whose bass viol seems at times to engage in easy conversation with what has since come to be called an "acoustic" guitar.
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