History of Jazz Guitar

Eddie LangThe banjo was more popular than the guitar in the late 19th century and first decades of the 20th century. The banjo could project more sound and be heard more easily than the guitar. Most early guitarists started out on the banjo and many were inventors who constantly modified their instruments. The early banjo style is based largely on the ragtime and marches that were so popular at the turn of the century. The Hawaiian style of slide or pedal guitar became very popular amongst blues and Texas swing guitarists of the 1930s.

The History of Jazz Guitar - Episode 1

CompositionArtistYear
Air Mail SpecialCharlie Christian/Benny Goodman1941
St. Louis TickleVess Ossman1906
Old Folks RagFred Van Eps1910
Chain Gang BluesSam Moore1921
MinnehahaSam Koki with Andy Aiona Islanders1936
Twin Guitar SpecialLeon McAuliffe and Eldon Shamblin with Bob Wills Playboys1941

The History of Jazz Guitar - Epsiode 2

CompositionArtistYear
A Handful of RiffsLonnie Johnson/Eddie Lang1929
Teasin’ the FretsNick Lucas1932
Hotter Than ThatLonnie Johnson/Louis Armstrong1927
Savoy BluesJohnny St. Cyr/Lonnie Johnson/Louis Armstrong Hot 51927
Playing With the StringsLonnie Johnson1928
Add a Little WiggleEddie Lang1928

The History of Jazz Guitar - Episode 3

CompositionArtistYear
Add a Little WiggleEddie Lang1928
Eddies TwisterEddie Lang1927
Feeling My WayEddie Lang and Carl Kress1932
Pickin’ My WayEddie Lang and Carl Kress1932
Peg Leg ShuffleCarl Kress1939

The History of Jazz Guitar - Episode 4

Carl Kress and Dick McDonough were important exponents of Eddie Lang’s style and made many important recordings in the late 1930’s. The remainder of this show will feature the work of the great Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt who spent most of career in Paris and is probably the first great non-U.S. born jazz musician. Django’s recordings are all the more astounding when you consider that he lost 3 fingers on his left hand in a fire as a teenager.
CompositionArtistYear
DanzonCarl Kress and Dick McDonough1934
Honeysuckle RoseDick McDonough1937
BellevilleDjango Reinhardt with Stephan Grappelli1946
DinahDjango Reinhardt1934
Tiger RagDjango Reinhardt with Hot Club of France1934
NuagesDjango Reinhardt1948

The History of Jazz Guitar - Episode 5

This is podcast continuation of the important 1930’s jazz guitarists---we will listen to some lesser known, but great artists from that era.
CompositionArtistYear
This Side UpOscar Moore/Nat Cole Trio1940
Toledo ShuffleBernard Addison and his Rhythm Kings1935
Way down Yonder in New OrleansEddie Durham/Kansas City 61938
Jeepers CreepersOscar Aleman1939
Swingin’ on the StringsInk Spots1935

History of Jazz Guitar - Episode 6

Charlie Christian is the focus of this podcast. Christian is the most important of the swing era guitarists who came to fame in the late 1930’s with the Benny Goodman Sextet and Orchestra. His guitar playing is an important transition between the swing style of the 1930’s and the newer bebop style that was beginning to evolve in New York at the jam sessions in the early 1940’s. In his short career he left an important legacy and a new direction for jazz guitarists.
CompositionArtist/LeaderYear
Seven Come ElevenCharlie Christian/Benny Goodman Sextet1939
Solo FlightCharlie Christian/Benny Goodman Orchestra1941
The Breakfast FeudCharlie Christian/Benny Goodman Sextet1941
Air Mail SpecialCharlie Christian/Benny Goodman Septet1941