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The Genius of the Electric Guitar

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
First, a few myths get cleared up by the very existence of this box, which goes far beyond the original Columbia compilations with the same name. For starters, Columbia goes a long way to setting the record straight that Charlie Christian was not the first electric guitarist or the first jazz guitarist or the first electric guitarist in jazz. For another, they concentrate on only one thing here: documenting Christian's seminal tenure with Benny Goodman's various bands from 1939-1941. While in essence, that's all there really is, various dodgy compilations have been made advertising Christian playing with Lester Young or Lionel Hampton. It's true that he did, but only in the ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
First, a few myths get cleared up by the very existence of this box, which goes far beyond the original Columbia compilations with the same name. For starters, Columbia goes a long way to setting the record straight that Charlie Christian was not the first electric guitarist or the first jazz guitarist or the first electric guitarist in jazz. For another, they concentrate on only one thing here: documenting Christian's seminal tenure with Benny Goodman's various bands from 1939-1941. While in essence, that's all there really is, various dodgy compilations have been made advertising Christian playing with Lester Young or Lionel Hampton. It's true that he did, but only in the context of the Goodman band. There are 98 tracks spread over four CDs, all of which have been remastered from original sources -- the sound is nothing short of breathtaking. The tracks include the well-known master takes, all 70 of them, as well as 17 never before released alternates and 28 cuts that have only been issued on European or Japanese compilations. What all of this compiling proves is one thing certainly: all single-disc collections cannot begin to do justice to the legend and methyl that surrounds Christian's genius. The single-disc ventures are merely shadows, not even photographs or snaps of the massive wealth of musicality that this collaboration between these two men, and the various bands and orchestras they were involved in. Chronologically laid out, the notes are exhaustive enough to include take numbers for jazz historians to argue about. For the rest of us, we get to delve deep into the Goodman band's treasure trove with "Flying Home," "Rose Room," "Memories of You," "AC-DC Current" -- with a killer Lionel Hampton vibes solo, as well as Christian's fat-shaped chords that sound downright funky -- "Gone With What Wind," and more masters with those slippery solos and lilting clarinets. Plus, we get nine alternate takes just on disc one. Disc two brings Lester Young and Buck Clayton to the Goodman sextet, as well as players like Georgie Auld and Cootie Williams. These sides in 1940 are the most cooking, as Christian has to actually get in and mix it up with the horns. Among the most noteworthy are "Ad Lib Blues," "Lester's Dream," "Wholly Cats," and "Royal Garden Blues." The alternates are three takes of "Six Appeal My Daddy Rocks Me" and two of "Good Enough to Keep Air Mail Special," which must have been hell to pick between for the original issues -- they all smoke. Disc three puts the Goodman sextet in a new groove, with Count Basie making the scene briefly with Williams and Auld. The trading of fours between Basie and Christian on "Breakfast Feud" -- of which there are even steamier alternate takes -- is one of the highlights of either's career, and the only place on record where Goodman himself gets lost in the beat. Finally, disc four presents the Goodman Orchestra, Metronome All-Star Review, and his own big band. The sheer talent on these sides is dizzying to even list: Gene Krupa, Harry James, Jack Teagarden, Benny Carter, Pete Mondello, Fletcher Henderson, and on. Christian shines on all of these sides. Backed by a rhythm guitarist acoustic, and a big rhythm section, his solos are wracked with fluttering arpeggios that seem to meander before sideswiping the listener with their on-target incision into the melodic framework of the tune and their absolutely in-the-pocket sense of time. Along with alternate takes, there are sextet false starts and breakdowns included, as well as the Goodman Orchestra's rehearsals. The fourth is easily the most exhausting disc of the set to listen through, but it also has the most astonishing music. This set is an archivist's dream, to be sure, but it nonetheless offers the rest of listeners plenty as well: a complete education in Goodman, as well as Christian and the eras, and to be sure, the most potent music outside the Ellington band from those years. In addition, Peter Broadbent's encyclopedic biographical notes and Loren Schoenberg' s obsessively yes, that's a good thing musical notes make for an indispensable package both historically and aesthetically.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/27/2012
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • UPC: 886979303522
  • Catalog Number: 793035
  • Sales rank: 7,230

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Flying Home - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:12)
  2. 2 Rose Room - Benny Goodman Sextet (2:47)
  3. 3 Stardust - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:14)
  4. 4 Memories Of You - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:10)
  5. 5 Soft Winds - Benny Goodman Sextet (2:26)
  6. 6 Seven Come Eleven - Benny Goodman Sextet (2:46)
  7. 7 Shivers - Benny Goodman Sextet (2:48)
  8. 8 AC/DC Current - Benny Goodman Sextet (2:45)
  9. 9 I'm Confessin' (That I Love You) - Benny Goodman Sextet (2:58)
  10. 10 Till Tom Special - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:04)
  11. 11 Gone With What Wind - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:22)
  12. 12 The Sheik Of Araby - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:15)
  13. 13 Untitled Tune - Benny Goodman Sextet (2:01)
  14. 14 Poor Butterfly - Benny Goodman Sextet (2:50)
  15. 15 I Surrender, Dear - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:00)
  16. 16 Boy Meets Goy (Grand Slam) - Benny Goodman Sextet (2:53)
  17. 17 These Foolish Things - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:13)
  18. 18 Flying Home - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:15)
  19. 19 Memories Of You - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:08)
  20. 20 Soft Winds - Benny Goodman Sextet (2:28)
  21. 21 Shivers - Benny Goodman Sextet (2:29)
  22. 22 Gone With What Wind - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:15)
  23. 23 The Sheik Of Araby - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:26)
  24. 24 I Surrender, Dear - Benny Goodman Sextet (2:55)
  25. 25 Boy Meets Goy (Grand Slam) - Benny Goodman Sextet (2:50)
  26. 26 These Foolish Things - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:05)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Six Appeal (My Daddy Rocks Me) - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:18)
  2. 2 Good Enough To Keep (Air Mail Special) - Benny Goodman Sextet (2:53)
  3. 3 Ad Lib Blues - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:20)
  4. 4 Wholly Cats - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:15)
  5. 5 Charlie's Dream - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:12)
  6. 6 I Never Knew - Benny Goodman Sextet (2:58)
  7. 7 Lester's Dream - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:16)
  8. 8 Wholly Cats - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:03)
  9. 9 Wholly Cats - Benny Goodman Sextet (2:59)
  10. 10 Royal Garden Blues - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:01)
  11. 11 As Long As I Live - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:19)
  12. 12 Benny's Bugle - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:05)
  13. 13 Gilly - Benny Goodman Sextet (2:35)
  14. 14 Six Appeal (My Daddy Rocks Me) - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:13)
  15. 15 Six Appeal (My Daddy Rocks Me) - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:18)
  16. 16 Six Appeal (My Daddy Rocks Me) - Benny Goodman Sextet (2:51)
  17. 17 Good Enough to Keep (Air Mail Special) - Benny Goodman Sextet (2:47)
  18. 18 Good Enough to Keep (Air Mail Special) - Benny Goodman Sextet (2:56)
  19. 19 Wholly Cats - Benny Goodman Sextet (2:58)
  20. 20 Wholly Cats - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:05)
  21. 21 Wholly Cats - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:03)
  22. 22 Royal Garden Blues - Benny Goodman Sextet (2:45)
  23. 23 Royal Garden Blues - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:02)
  24. 24 As Long As I Live - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:22)
  25. 25 Gilly - Benny Goodman Sextet (2:35)
  26. 26 Gilly - Benny Goodman Sextet (2:35)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Breakfast Feud - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:09)
  2. 2 I Can't Give You Anything But Love - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:23)
  3. 3 Breakfast Feud - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:03)
  4. 4 On The Alamo - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:24)
  5. 5 I Found A New Baby - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:02)
  6. 6 Gone With What Draft - Benny Goodman Sextet (2:40)
  7. 7 A Smo-o-o-oth One - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:17)
  8. 8 Air Mail Special (Good Enough To Keep) - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:22)
  9. 9 Breakfast Feud - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:53)
  10. 10 Breakfast Feud - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:16)
  11. 11 Breakfast Feud - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:10)
  12. 12 Breakfast Feud - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:14)
  13. 13 I Can't Give You Anything But Love - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:23)
  14. 14 I Can't Give You Anything But Love - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:35)
  15. 15 Breakfast Feud - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:06)
  16. 16 Breakfast Feud - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:13)
  17. 17 Breakfast Feud - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:05)
  18. 18 I Found A New Baby - Benny Goodman Sextet (2:55)
  19. 19 Gone With What Draft - Benny Goodman Sextet (2:42)
  20. 20 Gone With What Draft - Benny Goodman Sextet (2:43)
  21. 21 A Smo-o-o-oth One - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:17)
  22. 22 A Smo-o-o-oth One - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:19)
  23. 23 Air Mail Special (Good Enough to Keep) [ - Benny Goodman Sextet (3:22)
Disc 4
  1. 1 All Star Strut - Metronome All-Star Nine (3:07)
  2. 2 Honeysuckle Rose - Benny Goodman & His Orchestra (3:02)
  3. 3 Li'l Boy Love - Benny Goodman & His Orchestra (2:59)
  4. 4 Solo Flight - Benny Goodman & His Orchestra (2:47)
  5. 5 All Star Strut - Benny Goodman & His Orchestra (3:11)
  6. 6 Li'l Boy Love - Benny Goodman & His Orchestra (2:57)
  7. 7 Solo Flight - Benny Goodman & His Orchestra (2:46)
  8. 8 Untitled Tune - Benny Goodman Sextet (1:35)
  9. 9 Poor Butterfly - Benny Goodman Sextet (0:29)
  10. 10 I Surrender, Dear - Benny Goodman Sextet (1:03)
  11. 11 I Surrender, Dear - Benny Goodman Sextet (1:10)
  12. 12 Six Appeal (My Daddy Rocks Me) - Benny Goodman Sextet (1:05)
  13. 13 Six Appeal (My Daddy Rocks Me) - Benny Goodman Sextet (0:19)
  14. 14 These Foolish Things - Benny Goodman Sextet (0:34)
  15. 15 Tune Up & Blues - Benny Goodman Sextet (0:16)
  16. 16 Wholly Cats - Benny Goodman Sextet (0:54)
  17. 17 Breakfast Feud - Benny Goodman Sextet (0:27)
  18. 18 Breakfast Feud - Benny Goodman Sextet (0:09)
  19. 19 Gilly - Benny Goodman Sextet (1:31)
  20. 20 All Star Strut - Benny Goodman Sextet (1:18)
  21. 21 Benny's Bugle - Benny Goodman Sextet (14:19)
  22. 22 Benny's Bugle - Benny Goodman Sextet (9:18)
  23. 23 March 13, 1941 Jam Session: Riffin' Around/Waitin' For Benny (A Smo-o-o - Benny Goodman Sextet (21:02)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Charlie Christian Primary Artist, Electric Guitar
Count Basie Piano
Buck Clayton Trumpet
Benny Goodman Clarinet, Leader
Freddie Green Rhythm Guitar
Lionel Hampton Vibes
Harry James Trumpet
Jo Jones Drums
Gene Krupa Drums
Jack Teagarden Trombone
Cootie Williams Trumpet
Lester Young Tenor Saxophone
Gus Bivona Alto Saxophone
Ziggy Elman Trumpet
Johnny Guarnieri Piano
Bob Haggart Bass
Lou McGarity Trombone
Helen Forrest Vocals
Ken Kersey Piano
Walter Page Bass
Red Ballard Trombone
Bus Bassey Tenor Saxophone
Artie Bernstein Bass
Dudley Brooks Piano
Vernon Brown Trombone
Cutty Cutshall Trombone
Buff Estes Alto Saxophone
Nick Fatool Drums
Fletcher Henderson Piano
Irving Goodman Trumpet
Jerry Jerome Tenor Saxophone
Johnny Martel Trumpet
Jimmy Maxwell Trumpet
Eddie Miller Tenor Saxophone
Pete Mondello Tenor Saxophone
Les Robinson Alto Saxophone
Bob Snyder Baritone Saxophone
Jess Stacy Piano
Dave Tough Drums
Ted Vesely Trombone
Alec FILA Trumpet
Arnold Covey Guitar
Harry Jaeger Drums
Skippy Martin Alto Saxophone
George Auld Tenor Saxophone
Toots Mondello Alto Saxophone
Technical Credits
Hoagy Carmichael Composer
Count Basie Composer
Charlie Christian Composer
Benny Goodman Composer
Lionel Hampton Composer
Cootie Williams Composer
Lester Young Composer
Johnny Guarnieri Composer
Jimmy Mundy Arranger
Ray Noble Composer
Jimmy McHugh Composer
Harold Arlen Composer
Andy Razaf Composer
Frank Loesser Composer
Fletcher Henderson Arranger, Composer
Les Hite Arranger
Gus Kahn Composer
Al J. Neiburg Composer
Mitchell Parish Composer
Scott Wenzel Source Recordings
Joel Zimmerman Art Direction
Edward O'Dowd Reissue Design
Ted Koehler Composer
Harry Link Composer
Jack Strachey Composer
Michael Brooks Source Recordings
Peter Broadbent Liner Notes
T. Snyder Composer
F. Wheeler Composer
H. Barris Composer
H. Marvell Composer
F. Hollander Composer
J. Mundy Composer
H. Williams Composer
D. Fields Composer
D. Dougherty Composer
E. Reynolds Composer
Carl Hallstrom Source Recordings
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