Charlie Christian

Wes Montgomery (6.14.15)

Wes Montgomery was born “John Leslie Montgomery” in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1923. From humble beginnings in the Midwest, he went on to become one of the all time leading jazz guitar players, taking after luminaries like Django Reinhardt and Charlie Christian.

In this edition of Liner Notes, Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe, talks about how the unassuming nature of Montgomery allows us to see that revolution and innovation are all around us each day. In the ordinariness of his playing, Montgomery was dangerous. Threatening to the status quo of, not only the everyday, but the avant-garde as well.

V&B: Benny Goodman and The Art of Intersection

In this Views and Brews Remix feature on Benny Goodman host Rebecca McInroy and Rabbi Neil Blumofe engage in a spirited discussion about Goodman’s life, music and his relationships to his musicians — specifically, pianist Teddy Wilson, vibraphonist Lionel Hampton, and guitarist Charlie Christian-and some of Austin’s best musicians help us relive Goodman’s style. Featuring: Ben Saffer, clarinet Erik Hokkanen, guitar Red Young, piano Roscoe Beck, bass Brannen Temple, drums.

In the 1930’s, the clarinetist and bandleader, Benny Goodman, brought jazz stylings to mainstream America. What was the lasting significance of Goodman’s contributions beyond the Swing Era? In an age of segregation, creeping fear, and xenophobia, Goodman boldly set forth a new agenda for American music, integrating his band and exasperating the assumptions of culture, sophistication, and assumed ways of life.

What does it mean to be a visionary? How do we balance our dreams and our dramatic idiosyncrasies with the everyday and grueling disciplined life that we must live to make an impact? How do we know if we have been successful? What does success really mean?