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Stompin' at the Savoy
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Charlie Christian is captured live on record at Minton's Playhouse in New York City on May 12 1941.
Charlie Christian, guitar
Joe Guy, trumpet
Thelonious Monk, piano
Nick Fenton, bass
Kenny Clarke, drums
Born in Bonham, Texas on July 29, 1916 and raised in Oklahoma City, Charlie Christian was taught to play the guitar by his father as a boy.
After gaining recognition locally he began touring the Midwest becoming famous throughout the region playing electric guitar by 1936.
Mary Lou Williams, then the pianist for "Andy Kirk and His Clouds of Joy", brought Christian to the attention of producer John Hammond who would in turn who recommend him to bandleader Benny Goodman.
Joining Goodman's new Sextet in 1939 he instantly went from making $2.50 and night to $150.00 a week!
Over the coming years the horn inspired single note leads of Charlie Christian would put the band at the top of the Billboard chart.
Christian also is credited as an innovator of bebop for his non commercial work performing at venues including Minton's Playhouse where he collaborated with Thelonious Monk.
After battling tuberculosis since the late 1930s the groundbreaking electric jazz guitarist succumbed to the illness on March 2, 1942 at the tender age twenty-five.
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