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Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by EllroyJames, Sep 15, 2016.
Live At Minton's Playhouse 1941
VERY cool. Thanks for posting.
CC is one of those I admire greatly rather than like. I once had a look at bebop, but I couldn't get my head around it.
love that lick at 0:37 in the first one
and I love how they gave him room to stretch out
the original..his "electric" guitar playing influenced every kid with a guitar in that era..from jazz to country and western swing...his influence was monumental..had a hendrix type resonance...before that it was still banjo comping/ four to the bar
(pretty much-there were exceptions of course!)
this was his mindblower-
the guitar pickup he used is still called the charlie christian pickup..and probably as popular today (in permutated forms) as ever
but Charlie wasn't the only one
there was Django
j'adore django!..but cc was already dead and buried before django went electric
where does George Barnes fit in all this?
In Les Paul's personal guitar collection he had Django's Selmer Macaferi , he had over 300 very rare and first of guitars most went up for auction except the really rare ones I would not in the slightest be surprised if he had Charlie's guitar as well.
And Eddie Durham. He gave lessons to CC.
And Carl Cress, George Van Epps, Allen Ruess, Eddie Lang, Teddy Bunn, George Barnes.
Don't forget that George Barnes recorded with Big Bill Broonzy in Chicago when he was 16.
It's very interesting to listen to Eddie Lang, the guitarist who was probably the most recorded musician in the 1920s and into the very early thirties. He has prodigious chops and harmonic knowledge and he's a sensitive accompaniest. He has a ready familiarity with the blues. He played with Bessie's smith and Louis Armstrong and really everybody.
It's obvious he's all about the acoustic guitar. you can hear heavy strings and strong pick attack, short sustain, big full midrange. But he's really twangy and he doesn't swing. He did duets with violinist Joe Venuti where it sounds like Django, kind of. But Django would have been listening to Lang. Lang died of natural causes before the electric Spanish guitar was invented
Ralph Ellison wrote a nice essay about Charlie Christian, who he grew up with in OK city. He says everybody knew in Jr high that Charlie was great. He also wants to credit the southwest for producing a new sense of swing. Charlie just heard the guitar differently. From everybody else. Listen to Eddie Durham, who was a great musician and arranger and who recorded the pectin guitar before Christian, and you hear Eddie Lang more than Charlie.
He's got great sense of swing but he builds all his improvs off arpeggiated chords, and once you notice that you start looking for somebody to take it t the next level. But everybody from Barney Kessler to Django to jr barnard with bob wills to t-bone walker to tiny grimes worships at the Christian church
I've been trying to cop Charlie's sound for a while now. Earlier today i loaded that live at minton's recording into my DAW to do a little frequency analysis
beautiful thread you started here ej..lots of great names mentioned..but if you read the interviews the one guy that drove the young guitarists crazy was cc...tal farlow, herb ellis, jimmy raney, barney kessel, junior barnard, eldon shamblin, saunders king... etc etc...
benny goodman had 2 bands goin at the same time..a smaller ensemble with cc..and a larger big band with another 4/4 guitarist...radio broadcasts were as important as records..and thats where a lot of young players first heard cc..radio broadcasts
he was huge influence.
not to detract from the others..i mean how could you detract from van epps??
cc had electricity on his side..pups,amp and emerging radio
ps- les paul buried django...when django died broke, it was les that took care of the burial expenses..he loved django,,,theres tales of johnny smith, django and les hangin out when django came stateside
the best with the best
the man was a true pioneer, electric amplification opened up new uncharted territory...
Christian's solos are frequently referred to as horn-like, and in that sense he was more influenced by horn players such as Lester Young and Herschel Evans than by early acoustic guitarists like Eddie Lang and jazz/bluesman Lonnie Johnson, although they both had contributed to the expansion of the guitar's role from "rhythm section" instrument to a solo instrument. Christian admitted he wanted his guitar to sound like a tenor saxophone.
Barnes to me sounds a lot like Eddie Lang
Really, Lang was a brilliant guitar player, but the style he worked in ends up being kind of a dead end once amplification comes along
This is a pretty song, with some dazzle
and this is more his jazz/blues style
You can tell it's all about being loud enough--big archtop, sustain sacrificed for volume. I always wonder what Eddie would have done with the electric guitar. He missed it by just a couple years, died of a hemmorage during a tonsilectomy
People always say this, and I never hear it. He doesn't sound "like a horn" to me, except he sounds like Lester. But EVERYBODY wanted to sound like Lester. Jazz in the twenties thirties was all about heavy vibrato and a lot of note bending--listen to the lang clip above, "Eddie's Twister." Lots of bending and he's using really heavy strings and lots of vibrato. It was how you signaled "I'm playing blues, Jackson!" Jazz was supposed to be "hot!!" and guitar was supposed to be bendy and twangy. One of the many awesome things abut Lester was he used almost no vibrato and very little heavy handed watch-me-bend-notes stuff. Lester invented cool. Check out this famous solo:
Minimal vibrato, and the bends are all purposeful. Powerful sense of time and swing. Also he invented the Chuck Berry riff, where you play two notes at different places: check out at 1:28. Lester did this all the time, T-Bone Walker stole it from Lester, Chuck stole it from T-Bone.
Charlie doesn't do much bending and no vibrato to speak of.
So I hear Lester in him, but not "horn" if that makes sense. And they're pretty close in age, seven years apart
I think Charlie played in the Kansas City, Oklahoma City Southwest style, which is what Count Basie played (even thogh he was from NJ) and Lester played in (altho born in New Orleans and raised in Minnesota). Charlie doesn't have that Dixieland thing going on, while Eddie does