Benny Goodman (featuring Charlie Christian): Solo Flight
Benny Goodman Orchestra (featuring Charlie Christian)
The Genius of the Electric Guitar (Sony Jazz 4K65564)
Alec Fila, Jimmy Maxwell, Irving Goodman, Cootie Williams (trumpets), Lou McGarity, Cutty Cutshall (trombones), Benny Goodman (clarinet, leader), Skippy Martin, Gus Bivona (alto sax); Pete Mondello (tenor sax), Bob Snyder (baritone sax), Mike Bryan (rhythm guitar), Artie Bernstein (bass).
Recorded: New York, March 4, 1941
Rating: 91/100 (learn more)
During the Swing Era, as bands swelled in size, acoustic guitarists turned to amplification to avoid being buried alive by ten brass and five saxes, even though most big-band guitarists played rhythm only, not solos. In 1938 George Barnes and Eddie Durham began exploring the electric guitar's solo possibilities, and in 1939 the instrument took flight when Benny Goodman hired Charlie Christian. As "Solo Flight" shows, Christian projected gloriously—or, put another way, stood out like a sore thumb. As marvelously as Christian played, the electric guitar fit a big swing band the way blue suede shoes complement a tuxedo.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz