This DVD documentary, Solo Flight: The Genius of Charlie Christian, is a poignant, in-depth look at Charlie Christian, an extraordinary and legendary Jazz guitarist whose innovations outlasted his all-too-brief career, which reached its apex when he became a member of the Benny Goodman Sextet. When he began playing melodic single-string solos on an amplified guitar, Charlie Christian caused a guitar revolution by creating the electric guitar, elevating it from a traditional background position into a lead instrument, thereby charting a new musical course from which popular music is still flowing.
Solo Flight traces the life, times, and music of one of the great sculptors of Jazz. We journey to the heart of Texas where Charlie Christian was born in 1916, and to the 2nd Street clubs of Oklahoma City where he first began to establish his indelible musical legacy. Along the way we gather precious recollections from the musicians and the communities that witnessed Christian’s prodigious guitar beginnings.
As we witness the successes of his contemporaries with whom he repeatedly shared the stage, one can only ponder the mark he would have left behind had he lived beyond the age of 25. This documentary film follows the evolution of his career to his legendary tenure with the Benny Goodman Sextet, and on to the late-night sessions at Minton’s in Harlem with Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Clarke, Thelonious Monk and Bird (Charlie Parker), where we explore Christian’s essential contribution to the birth of Bebop.
This DVD, Solo Flight: The Genius of Charlie Christian, documents the unheralded legend and his historic contribution to world of music. Charlie Christian was truly a master of his time and his untimely death from tuberculosis deprived the music world of many years of brilliant performances and the evolution of his truly individual style that continues to reverberate in the worlds of both Jazz and Guitar to this very day.