Charlie Byrd was one of the most unique jazz musicians to emerge in the 1950s. This album captures him at decade's end, when his unprecedented combination of country blues feeling and unamplified Spanish guitar had found two perfect homes. One was the trio that had come together under Byrd's leadership, with bassist Keter Betts (then and now a definitive stylist) and drummer Bertell Knox; the other was the Showboat Lounge in Washington, D.C., where the trio perfected its supple, subtle, unrestrainedly swinging interpretations of Gershwin, Ellington, and originals that drew upon the guitarist's roots in Chuckatuck, Virginia. Recorded between a brief tour as featured soloist with Woody Herman's band and his impending bossa nova conclave with Stan Getz, Mr. Guitar is where Charlie Byrd came into his own as a jazz star.