As with Legacy's epochal Robert Johnson boxed set—the surprise-smash 1990 release that not only sparked new interest in vintage roots-music styles but also virtually kicked off the CD era of bo

As with Legacy's epochal Robert Johnson boxed set—the surprise-smash 1990 release that not only sparked new interest in vintage roots-music styles but also virtually kicked off the CD era of boxed-set reissues—the genesis of this four-disc collection devoted to short-lived electric-guitar pioneer Charlie Christian lies in a labor of love. This deluxe set may not be reeling in the record-buyers like the Johnson collection or Legacy's subsequent Miles Davis series, but its worth extends far beyond historic value. This is great, life-affirming music that holds broad appeal. True, Christian was a remarkably prescient virtuoso on an instrument that would come to dominate popular music; moreover, his precious few recordings with various 1939-41 Benny Goodman bands brim over with the sheer joy of communal creativity. "Six Appeal (My Daddy Rocks Me)," "Shivers," "Solo Flight," and "Memories of You" are just a few of the timeless tracks in this collection, which has been produced with Legacy's usual curatorial care and state-of-the-art sonic restoration. While not necessarily convenient in terms of disc storage, this set's vintage-amplifier packaging makes for a highly alluring profile at retail.—BB