Podcast 5 Jazz Guitar Greats Vol. 1 ▶

ACEJazzLibrary show

Summary: Jazz Guitar Greats Vol. 1Welcome to ACE Jazz Library - Podcast no.5 This podcast features a selection of jazz guitar greats extending from the 1930's to the 1970's, touching on gypsy jazz, swing, bossa nova, blues, soul, cool and bop styles. The sequence is roughly in chronological order, giving a flavour of how jazz guitar styles developed, but beginning at the beginning to introduce the foundation influences and give you the heads up on where it's coming from we start with Django Reinhardt and Charlie Christian, who basically created the space for others to fill.  As ever on ACE Jazz Library we feature examples from outstanding album performances, which are well worth the purchase. To listen click on the title above. If you like what you hear please subscribe with your reader or podcast/zencast organiser. Check out additional samples at the links in the text (US) or in the box below the post (UK). Django Reinhardt - Minor Swing, Nuage (The Best Of Django Reinhardt) Capitol / Blue Note Every good jazz collection should include Django Reinhardt, who has had a seminal influence on players ever since sweeping Europe in the 1930's and 40's with his "hot" gypsy jazz style, which is kept alive today by players such as Bireli Lagrene and Holland's Rosenberg Trio. Django first came to prominence with the all string Quintet of the Hot Club of France (1934), though his career could have been cut disastrously short when as a teenager his caravan caught fire and he suffered serious burns to his body, crippling the 4th and 5th finger of his left hand. Nonetheless he taught himself to play again with an adapted technique, which undoubtedly influenced his style thereafter. The quintet featuring Django's lead, 2 rhythm guitars, bass and Stephane Grappeli's immediately recognisable violin playing provided sufficient volume to overcome any lack of amplification and was a very succesful club act of the time. Critics and officianados will argue forever and a day as to which album best represents Reinhardt's always consummate output. Because of the era we must content ourselves with compilations, however for entry level and to understand just how Django fitted in and influenced the parallel development of swing I have chosen The (Capitol/Blue Note) Best of Django Reinhardt. This contains a good selection of the best early Quintet from 1936, before the wartime split, when Grappeli remained in London and some examples of the Big Band accompaniment on which Django became engaged in France.  Extending up to 1948, also featured is a recording of Montmartre with the postwar visiting US jazzers Rex Stewart and his Feetwarmers. Charlie Christian - Seven Come Eleven (The Genius Of The Electric Guitar) It is often said that every jazz guitarist up until 1965 sounded like Charlie Christian. What this means is another question. Undoubtedly inflections of Django Reinhardt can be heard in some of Christian's work, so the statement cannot be taken too literally. Cross pollination within the swing genre was however inevitable, leading innovative players to emulate and expand on anothers style. Perhaps what is more important is that Chistian pioneered the use of electric guitar. He was also undoubtedly a genius of a player and though Django must be credited with establishing the guitar as a lead instrument, it was Christian who established the electric guitar as a lead within the big band genre at a time when small bands were beginning to take over. During a brief period from 1937 to his untimely death of tuberculosis at age 25 in 1942, Christian broke the mould of simple guitar as rhythm accompaniment and brought it up front with an infectiously perky plucking style that simply had to be heard. Followers on from Christian can simply be heard playing amplified guitar, typically plucked. It is arguable that it would be as difficult to sound unlike Christian as it would be for any saxophonist to sound totally unlike they were playing a saxophone. Subtle d