A century on and the evolution of jazz continues to unfold. There will always be traditionalists and there will always be those who desire to walk the coals to find the next level of blowing. The intention of these weekly posts will not be to hold your hand through the chronology of jazz history, but to give you an idea of the many directions you can choose to go in the exploration of the myriad, complex, and curious forms that fall under the moniker of jazz.
Chances are, if you're playing guitar in the Art Tatum Trio, you're probably a bad ass. Oh, and you also cut sides for the incipient Blue Note label as well as with Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, and a young Screamin' Jay Hawkins? Bad ass, for sure. You had a combo called The Rocking Highlanders and the band performed wearing kilts and tam o' shanters? We'll let you have that one, too. Lloyd "Tiny" Grimes hailed from Newport News, Virginia and offers an excellent early example of amplified jazz guitar playing on his instrument of choice, a four-string electric tenor guitar. A 52nd Street regular in the 1940s and '50s, Mr. Grimes had a career that spanned four decades. He rocked hugely and he rocked with the giants.
Check out these rare clips: