Joe Venuti

The Sounds of New York, Vol. 2 (1927-1933)

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This compilation of recordings made between 1927 and 1933 features violinist Joe Venuti and guitarist Eddie Lang with various orchestras and small groups. While the violinist is prominently featured throughout the album, the guitarist's role is primarily rhythm in most of the larger ensembles. Venuti and Lang join Jean Goldkette & His Orchestra (a first-rate unit which included Bix Beiderbecke, Spiegle Wilcox, and Frankie Trumbauer, with an arrangement by Bill Challis) for "Look at the World and Smile." The most memorable tracks are the small-group recordings by Venuti and Lang with pianist Frank Signorelli, with two takes each of their original collaborations "Doing Things" and the dazzling "Wild Cat," as well as "The Wild Dog" and "Really Blue," which expand the trio to a quartet with the addition of clarinetist and baritone saxophonist Pete Pumiglio. Lang died from a botched tonsillectomy in March 1933, so he isn't present on Benny Carter's "Everybody Shuffle" and "Moon Glow," with Joe Venuti leading a mostly unidentified orchestra. This music has been reissued in somewhat scattershot fashion over the decades since its first appearance on 78 rpm discs, but this is classic jazz is well worth seeking, especially in this circa mid-'70s RCA Victor France reissue.

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