Eddie Lang

Quintessential

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AllMusic Review by

The Timeless Historical catalog is an excellent resource for studying and enjoying a wide range of jazz recordings from the 1920s and '30s. Each collection was researched and assembled so as to provide the listener with insights, information, and old-fashioned musical enjoyment. The Quintessential Eddie Lang, for example, presents an unusually thorough overview of that virtuoso guitarist's brief recording career in 24 episodes, moving gingerly from one setting to the next as Lang's extraordinary versatility shows him to have been one of the era's great improvising artists. In addition to a pair of beautiful unaccompanied numbers ("April Kisses" and Sergey Rachmaninov's Prelude Opus 3, No.2), Lang is heard in the company of his primary collaborator, violinist Joe Venuti; in duets with guitarists Lonnie Johnson and Carl Kress; with Red McKenzie and the Mound City Blue Blowers (also known as McKenzie's Candy Kids); and with orchestras led by Jean Goldkette, Frankie Trumbauer, Roger Wolfe Kahn, and Fred Rich. This outstanding collection features instrumentalists Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, Bix Beiderbecke, Miff Mole, Jack Teagarden, and the Dorsey Brothers. Listen also for vocalists Bessie Smith, Hoagy Carmichael, Bing Crosby, the Rhythm Boys, the Brox Sisters, and Cliff Edwards, a mellifluous-sounding individual known professionally as Ukulele Ike (and later to achieve faceless fame as the voice of Walt Disney's Jiminy Cricket). Even with several excellent Eddie Lang collections in existence, its broad range of styles, genres, vocals, and instrumentation earns Timeless Historical's Quintessential Eddie Lang highest marks and unqualified praise.

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