Charlie Christian, trailblazing jazz guitarist was born 100 years ago in Texas in 1916. While he died young, in his mid-twenties, Charlie’s talent was swift enough to make his mark by then. Interestingly, Christian looked good to Benny Goodman, whose band undoubtedly was a vehicle for Christian’s progress.
His arresting guitar playing launched jazz on two different steps forward at once. Charlie picked up on electric guitar at just over age 20. His playing proved to be so good that he carved out a shelf for electric players in the jazz world. His “hot” rhythmic style was also entertaining enough to open the door for jazz to move from then swing toward the future’s bebop.
While Charlie’s music could be things we recognize from “having heard way back,” it’s still entertaining for a lot of folks. Try some samples here: Swing To Bop, and Stompin’ At The Savoy. Christian passed away in only a few years, at age 25, but his talent had already made it’s mark.
Join Alisa and Ron between 7 and 10 am Friday May 6 for a full sweep of Charlie’s historic music.