Partly because of its Brazilian collaborators and partly because of "The Girl From Ipanema," Getz/Gilberto is nearly always acknowledged as the Stan Getz bossa nova LP. But Jazz Samba is just as crucial and groundbreaking; after all, it came first, and in fact was the first full-fledged bossa nova album ever recorded by American jazz musicians. And it was just as commercially successful, topping the LP charts and producing its own pop chart hit single in "Desafinado." It was the true beginning of the bossa nova craze, and introduced several standards of the genre (including Ary Barroso's "Bahia" and Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Desafinado" and "Samba de Uma Nota Só" [aka "One Note Samba"])…
After a series of major label releases, the last of which was a recording with a new trio, Charlie Hunter makes significant changes for Baboon Strength. The idiosyncratic guitarist's innate joie de vivre remains constant, however, as he decides to release the album independently and, prior to that, recruits a new drummer.
Charlie Christian's career was all too brief, lasting a mere five years. After catching the attention of John Hammond, who recommended him to Benny Goodman, he appeared on fewer than 100 sessions between 1939 and 1941, mostly broadcasts, plus a few privately recorded sessions issued on various labels over the years, in addition to his well-known studio recordings and with Goodman. While the music in this compilation has been previously available, this collection has to much recommend it. First of all, new digital transfers have been made from original acetates from the Jerry Newhouse collection, rather than relying on later generation sources. Frank Driggs' detailed liner notes provide a wealth of historical background and there are also lots of photographs. But the most important factor is the music itself.
Definitive's mini-anthology of classic recordings featuring pioneer electrically amplified guitarist Charlie Christian is an excellent core sample taken from his brief and eventful career. Note that Definitive has also issued what purport to be compilations containing all of Christian's complete live and studio recordings, as well as another more modestly proportioned sampler entitled The Genius of the Electric Guitar. Charlie Christian was like a will-o'-the-wisp, a strikingly creative sideman who appeared at studio sessions and live jams during a span of months only adding up to a couple of years before succumbing to tuberculosis at the age of 25 in 1942. On Definitive's Celestial Express, the guitarist is heard with various groups led by Lionel Hampton and Benny Goodman, with Edmond Hall's Celeste Quartet, and with the Kansas City Six (a band including Count Basie and Lester Young) at the second From Spirituals to Swing concert in Carnegie Hall.