Eddie Lang


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This delightful set collects the earliest sides released by jazz guitarist Eddie Lang under his own name (or as Blind Willie Dunn, but more on that in a moment), which means it doesn't include any of his famous duets with fellow guitarist Lonnie Johnson, since all of those were officially released under Johnson's name. Lang does play with Johnson here on two tracks, though, under the name Blind Willie Dunn as part of the Gin Bottle Four (which also included pianist J.C. Johnson and horn man King Oliver), and his two striking duets with guitarist Carl Kress ("Pickin' My Way" and "Feeling My Way") are also here. One can't help but wonder where Lang might have gone on his instrument as the era of the electric guitar dawned, but his early death leaves nothing but "what if" conjecture on that subject. Lang was a much sought-after session player during his short life, and the sides released under his own name aren't necessarily his most influential, but it's nice to have them all in one set like this.

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