It contains the same material, in the same sequence, but the improvement in sound quality is so significant that it deserves special mention here. D isconforme S. Remastered at bit resolution, the tracks are arranged in Waiting For Benny - Charlie Christian - The Genius Of The Electric Guitar (CD) order except for one track within their category.
Tracks: Charlie Christian is featured on all MoJ tracks. There are 21 tracks on the DRs that are not on the MoJs which complicates comparison a bit, but maybe by listing those tracks you can see the situation better:.
You can go to the Albums Index of the Discography section to see the complete track listings under the Definitive label. Booklets: No contest.
The studio takes quoted, however, are not flawless. N itpicks and other comments :. Every track on both sets is in chronological sequence except for track 2 on disc 4 of this set.
The six tunes recorded during that jam are found here on five tracks. The session runs straight through but each tune is indexed on a separate track except for two. The only other CD that contains this extraordinary jam is the 7th volume of the MoJ series all on one track.
Sure makes it easier to find a particular tune when each has its own track. My biggest complaint is that there was more than enough room on this last disc for at least half-a-dozen more alternate takes.
Complete Live Recordings also has Waiting For Benny - Charlie Christian - The Genius Of The Electric Guitar (CD) few faults. Both airchecks are available only on CD on the Jazz Band label. T he Definitive sets certainly have better sound and a most attractive bargain price, but the Masters of Jazz remain the definitive, desert-island pick. I anticipate that the forthcoming release of volume 9 of the Masters of Jazz series will more than remedy their present shortcomings and increase their desirability.
The Masters of Jazz series is reviewed at the top of this page. The following is an English translation of a review of the above Definitive sets by Fernando Ortiz de Urbina which appeared in Cuadernos de Jazz. His relevance as a musician has been obscured by his proficiency as a guitarist and by the fact that he never led a band on record.
The two collections now published by Definitive carry less tracks than the French one, but the sound quality is better. The large difference in price somehow makes up for the even larger difference in the amount of information included: the Definitives are cheaper and their booklets much thinner. All in all, these are two highly recommended compilations, especially for newcomers. This Web site is designed and managed by.
All text and images in this site protected by copyright laws. No text or images including transcriptions may be copied, reused, or altered without written permission from the owner of this site. Scroll down or click on the title of the CDs listed in the following table to read the reviews CD Title. Introduction to the Charlie Christian Masters of Jazz series. Charlie Christian, Volume 1 August 19 - October 31, Charlie Christian, Volume 2 November 4 - December 24, Charlie Christian, Volume 3 December 2, - June 4, Posted by Ron Sweetman on Thursday, May 07, Posted by Ron Sweetman on Friday, May 01, Newer Posts Older Posts Home.
Subscribe to: Posts Atom. Bill Coleman, Categories Musicians 62 Playlists Schedules Reinhardt was attracted to music at an early age, first playing the violin. At the age of 12 he received a banjo-guitar as a gift. He quickly learned to play, mimicking the fingerings of musicians he watched, who would have included local virtuoso players of the day such as Jean "Poulette" Castro and Auguste "Gusti" Malha, as well as from his uncle Guiligou, who played violin, banjo and guitar.
At this time, he had not started playing jazz, although he had probably heard and had been intrigued by the version of jazz played by American expatriate bands like Billy Arnold's .
He received little formal education and acquired Waiting For Benny - Charlie Christian - The Genius Of The Electric Guitar (CD) rudiments of literacy only in adult life.
At the age of 17, Reinhardt married Florine "Bella" Mayer, a girl from the same Romani settlement, according to Romani custom although not an official marriage under French law. His name was now drawing international attention, such as from British bandleader Jack Hyltonwho came to France just to Waiting For Benny - Charlie Christian - The Genius Of The Electric Guitar (CD) him play. Before he had a chance to start with the band, however, Reinhardt nearly died. On the night of 2 NovemberReinhardt was going to bed in the wagon that he and his wife shared in the caravan.
He knocked over a candle, which ignited the extremely flammable celluloid that his wife used to make artificial flowers. The wagon was quickly engulfed in flames. The couple escaped, but Reinhardt suffered extensive burns over half his body. Reinhardt refused the surgery and was eventually able to walk with the aid of a cane. More crucial to his music, the fourth finger ring finger and fifth finger little of Reinhardt's left hand were badly burned. Doctors believed that he would never play guitar again.
While he never regained the use of those two fingers, Reinhardt regained his musical mastery by focusing on his left index and middle fingers, using the two injured fingers only for chord work. Soon thereafter, the couple split up. The son eventually took the surname of his mother's new husband. As Lousson Baumgartner, the son himself became an accomplished musician who would go on to record with his biological father.
After parting from his wife and son, Reinhardt traveled throughout France, getting occasional jobs playing music at small clubs. He had no definite goals, living a hand-to-mouth existence, spending his earnings as quickly as he made them. Nicknamed "Naguine," she and Reinhardt were distant cousins. During the years after the fire, Reinhardt was rehabilitating and experimenting on the guitar that his brother had given him. InGrappelli was a member of the orchestra at the Ambassador Hotel while bandleader Paul Whiteman and Joe Venuti were performing there.
The swinging sound of Venuti's jazz violin and Eddie Lang's virtuosic guitar anticipated the more famous sound of Reinhardt and Grappelli's later ensemble. Hearing their music triggered in Reinhardt a vision and goal of becoming a jazz professional.
He and Grappelli frequently jammed together, accompanied by a loose circle of other musicians. It became the most accomplished and innovative European jazz group of the period. In Paris on 14 MarchReinhardt recorded two takes each of "Parce-que je vous aime" and "Si, j'aime Suzy", vocal numbers with lots of guitar fills and guitar support. He used three guitarists along with an accordion lead, violin, and bass.
In Augusthe made other recordings with more than one guitar Joseph Reinhardt, Roger Chaput, and Reinhardtincluding the first recording by the Quintette. In both years the great majority of their recordings featured a wide variety of horns, often in multiples, piano, and other instruments,  but the all-string instrumentation is the one most often adopted by emulators of the Hot Club sound.
He participated in a jam session and radio performance with Louis Armstrong. Later in his career, Reinhardt played with Dizzy Gillespie in France. Also in the neighborhood was the artistic salon Rat which Reinhardt and Grappelli performed regularly as they developed their unique musical style.
InReinhardt's quintet played to thousands at an all-star show held in London's Kilburn State auditorium. When their set ended, Cantor rose to his feet, then went up on stage and kissed Reinhardt's hand, paying no concern to the audience. Grappelli remained in the United Kingdom for the duration of the war. Reinhardt re-formed the quintet, with Hubert Rostaing on clarinet replacing Grappelli. While he tried to continue with his music, war with the Nazis presented Reinhardt with a potentially catastrophic obstacle, as he was a Romani jazz musician.
Beginning inall German Romani were barred from living in cities, herded into settlement camps, and routinely sterilized. Hitler and Joseph Goebbels viewed Jazz as un-German counterculture.
A new generation of French Jazz enthusiasts, the Zazoushad arisen and swollen the ranks of the Hot Club. Reinhardt was the most famous jazz musician in Europe at the time, working steadily during the early war years and earning a great deal of money, yet always under threat. Reinhardt expanded his musical horizons during this period.
Using an early amplification system, he was able to work in more of a big-band format, in large ensembles with horn sections. He also experimented with classical composition, writing a Mass for the Gypsies and a symphony. Since he did not read music, Reinhardt worked with an assistant to notate what he was improvising.
His modernist piece "Rhythm Futur" was also intended to be acceptable to the Nazis. In this ["Nuages"] graceful and eloquent melody, Django evoked the woes of the war that weighed on people's souls—and then transcended it all.
They had a son, Babik Reinhardtwho became a respected guitarist. In the tide of war turned against the Germans, with a considerable darkening of the situation in Paris. Severe rationing was in place, and members of Django's circle were being captured by the Nazis or joining the resistance.
Reinhardt's first attempt at escape from Occupied France led to capture. One of his songs, 's "Nuages",  became an unofficial anthem in Paris to signify hope for liberation. Unlike the estimatedRomani people who were interned and killed in the PorajmosReinhardt survived the war without incident. After the war, Reinhardt rejoined Grappelli in the UK. In the autumn ofhe made his first tour in the United States, debuting at Cleveland Music Hall  as a special guest soloist with Duke Ellington and His Orchestra.
He played with many musicians and composers, such as Maury Deutsch. At the end of the tour, Reinhardt played two nights at Carnegie Hall in New York City; he received a great ovation and took six curtain calls on the first night. Despite his pride in touring with Ellington one of two letters to Grappelli relates his excitementhe was not fully integrated into the band. He played a few tunes at the end of the show, backed by Ellington, with no special arrangements written for him.
These performances drew large audiences. Tired of waiting, Reinhardt returned to France in February After his return, Reinhardt re-immersed himself in Romani life, finding it difficult to adjust to the postwar world. He sometimes showed up for scheduled concerts without a guitar or amplifier, or wandered off to the park or beach.
On a few occasions he refused to get out of bed. Reinhardt developed a reputation among his band, fans, and managers as extremely unreliable. He skipped sold-out concerts to "walk to the beach" or "smell the dew. In Rome inReinhardt recruited three Italian jazz players on bass, piano, and snare drum and recorded over 60 tunes in an Italian studio.
He united with Grappelli, and used his acoustic Selmer-Maccaferri. The recording was issued for the first time in the late s. Back in Paris, in JuneReinhardt was invited to join an entourage to welcome the return of Benny Goodman. He also attended a reception for Goodman, who, after the war ended, had asked Reinhardt to join him in the U.
Goodman repeated his invitation and, out of politeness, Reinhardt accepted. However, Reinhardt later had second thoughts about what role he could play alongside Goodman, who was the "King of Swing", and remained in France. InReinhardt retired to Samois-sur-Seinenear Fontainebleauwhere he lived until his death. He continued to play in Paris jazz clubs and began playing electric guitar. He often used a Selmer fitted with an electric pickup, despite his initial hesitation about the instrument.
In his final recordings, made with his Nouvelle Quintette in the last few months of his life, he had begun moving in a new musical direction, in which he assimilated the vocabulary of bebop and fused it with his own melodic style. On 16 Maywhile walking from the Gare de Fontainebleau—Avon Station after playing in a Paris club, he collapsed outside his house from a brain hemorrhage.
Reinhardt developed his initial musical approach via tutoring by relatives and exposure to other gypsy guitar players of the day, then playing the banjo-guitar alongside accordionists in the world of the Paris bal-musettes. He played mainly with a plectrum for maximum volume and attack particularly in the s-early 30s when amplification in venues was minimal or non-existentalthough he could also play fingerstyle on occasion, as evidenced by some recorded introductions and solos.
Following his accident in in which his left hand was severely burned and he lost most of the use of all except his first two fingers, he developed a completely new left hand technique and started performing on guitar accompanying popular singers of the day, before discovering jazz and presenting his new hybrid style of gypsy approach plus jazz to the outside world via the Quintette du Hot Club de France. Despite his left hand handicap, Reinhardt was able to recapture in modified form and then surpass his previous level of proficiency on the guitar by now his main Waiting For Benny - Charlie Christian - The Genius Of The Electric Guitar (CD)not only as a lead instrumental voice but also as a driving and harmonically interesting rhythm player; his virtuosity, incorporating many gypsy-derived influences, was also matched with a superb sense of melodic invention as well as general musicality in terms of choice of notes, timing, dynamics, and utilizing the maximum tonal range from an instrument previously thought of by many critics as potentially limited in expression.
Playing completely by ear he could neither read nor write musiche roamed freely across the full range of the fretboard giving full flight to his musical imagination and could play with ease in any key. Guitarists, particularly in Britain and the United States, could scarcely believe what they heard on the records that the Quintette was making; guitarist, gypsy jazz enthusiast and educator Ian Cruickshank writes:.
It wasn't untiland the Quintet's first tour of England, that guitarists [in the U. His hugely innovative technique included, on a grand scale, such unheard of devices as melodies played in octaves, tremolo chords with shifting notes that sounded like whole horn sections, a complete array of natural and artificial harmonics, highly charged dissonances, super-fast chromatic runs from the open bass strings to the highest notes on the 1st string, an unbelievably flexible and driving right-hand, two and three octave arpeggios, advanced and unconventional chords and a use of the flattened fifth that predated be-bop by a decade.
Add to all this Django's staggering harmonic and melodic concept, huge sound, pulsating swing, sense of humour and sheer speed of execution, and it is little wonder that guitar players were knocked sideways upon their first encounter with this full-blown genius. Because of his damaged left hand his ring and pinky fingers helped little in his playing Reinhardt had to extensively modify both his chordal and melodic approach.
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