Charlie Christian

The Quintessence: New York to Los Angeles 1939-1941

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AllMusic Review by

This French double-disc, 32-track anthology by Fremeaux & Associates is a decent, even solid collection of material of Charlie Christian's early recording years with the Benny Goodman band, in a number of studios all across the United States. Some of the track selections are curious, and considering the nine-volume retrospective on the Masters of Jazz imprint, this is but a mere drop in the bucket. Nonetheless, there are still plenty -- plenty -- of novices out there who are still discovering Christian some eight decades after he impacted music forever with his playing and had such a profound effect on jazz. So these sides, all of them showcasing him in the company of some prominent soloists, including Count Basie and Lester Young, offer plenty of proof that the genius was real. The notes are just OK, but the sound is terrific considering the source material. The only truly confounding thing here is the inclusion of four takes on disc two of "Benny's Bugle," all strung together as one long jam.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:46
2 3:13
3 2:57
4 2:57
5 3:15
6 3:03
7 3:51
8 3:48
9
3:48
10 3:05
11 3:00
12 3:11
13 2:53
14 2:39
15
3:42
16 3:01
17 3:08
18 2:48

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 14:19
2 3:40
3 3:08
4 3:20
5 2:57
6 4:16
7 4:13
8 2:50
9 2:49
10 7:14
11 3:24
12
8:46
13 8:28
14 2:41
blue highlight denotes track pick