The innovations of Charlie Christian on electric guitar – single-note solos of melodic and technical complexity, an advanced harmonic foundation, and just pure musicality – influenced dozens of other guitarists in the 1940s. Many of these musicians were able to find their own creative voices within Christian’s approach, and one of the most important was Mary Osborne.

Mary Osborne began playing professionally before her sixteenth birthday. During the 1930s and early 1940s, she played and toured with Buddy Rogers, Dick Stabile, Joe Venuti, and Bob Chester. By the mid–1940s, Osborne had settled in New York City and was playing on 52nd Street, recording both as a leader and side person. Her ability to weave imaginative and swinging single-note solos led to invitations to record with Coleman Hawkins, Stuff Smith, and Mary Lou William. Osborne continued to appear in Manhattan throughout the latter part of the 1940s, and into the 1950s, although her public performances tapered off from 1960 onward. The pianist in this trio, Sanford Gold, also gained experience in the big bands. Gold settled in New York City after army service, and was a house pianist of sorts for Savoy Records in the late 1940s, recording with Stan Getz, Don Byas, Peggy Lee, and a young Johnny Hartman. Gold developed a solo style that was advanced and influential, and I hear traces of his “quiet” and “space” in the early work of Bill Evans. Little is known about the string bassist in the group. “Frenchy” Cavette.

“Rhumba Rebop” is a composition by Leonard Feather, although we hear little rebop and even less rhumba in this interpretation. What we do hear is some superlative small group jazz with solos by Osborne and Gold. The Soundies catalog describes the dance routine by Betty Williams as “seductive.” Well, if you say so. It is probable that Williams was a member of the Jeanette Hackett dance troupe, although the common nature of her name makes it hard to develop her professional biography. What is not common is the music of the trio … with more to come from this series, soon.