December 11, 2023

Jazz, Blues, 78 rpm and Guitar solos II

So what happens after the roaring twenties for the guitar in Jazz? Twenties Torchbearers Lonnie Johnson the single string solo pioneer and Eddie Lang paved the way for an explosion of guitar innovation fresh from Paris France in the form of Django Reinhardt, violinist Stéphane Grappelli plus Reinhardt’s brother Joseph and Roger Chaput on guitar. These cats used the first ever cutaway guitar – The Selmer. Meanwhile across the Atlantic Charlie Christian pioneer of guitar amplification was also getting down to business…What is unusual about Reinhardt is that his right leg was paralyzed and the third and fourth fingers of his left hand were badly burnt in a house fire. Doctors believed that he would never play guitar again and intended to amputate one of his legs. Django however had other plans and continued to pioneer a guitar style that is as accomplished as it is unusual the damage to his hands forcing him to adopt a predominantly two fingered guitar style.

In Paris on March 14, 1933 Reinhardt recorded 2 takes each of “Parce que je vous aime” and “Si, j’aime Suzy”, vocal numbers with lots of guitar fills and great guitar support, using 3 guitarists along with an accordion lead, violin, and bass. Fresh!

Here`s New Zealand`s very own Leigh Jackson playing “Swing Gitan” in gypsy swing jazz style!

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