The Joe Venuti/Eddie Lang Collection 1926-33
Catalogue Number: FADCD2041
The Italian American musicians Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang were the true pioneers of the use of stringed instruments in jazz, violinist Venuti very much presaging the work of Stephane Grappelli, while guitarist Lang was likewise a precursor to Django Reinhardt. Venuti and Lang became famous for the hot duets, and were regularly featured by the top dance bands of the day like Jean Goldkette and Frankie Trumbauer in solos within what were otherwise fairly standard arrangements, and we include examples of that phenomenon. They were most renowned, however, for their small group work, notably Joe Venuti’s Blue Four and their All-Star Orchestra, in which they appeared with a range of top contemporaries such as Benny Goodman and Jack Teagarden, as well as featuring in other leaders’ small combos, notably Red Nichols. They were highly prized accompanists for the vocalists of the day as well, such as Cliff ‘Ukulele Ike’ Edwards, Ruth Etting, Ethel Waters and The Boswell Sisters, all featured here. They were extraordinarily innovative and exciting stylists, who could swing and groove in exciting fashion, and this great value 50-track set is a hugely entertaining cross-section their prolific work together before Lang died aged just 30 after a botched tonsillectomy.