Joe Venuti


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Also released at the time by the Italian Jump label, this French RCA LP has one of violinist Joe Venuti's earlier efforts during his successful comeback. What is particularly unusual about the date is that only two of the dozen songs ("Wild Dog" and "Black Satin") date from Venuti's earlier days. All of the other tunes were composed in much more recent times, mostly by Venuti, pianist Lou Stein or Italian composers (including Luigi Ferracioli). The obscure material is performed by the violinist, Stein (on piano, celeste and organ), bassist Marco Ratti and drummer Gil Cuppini. Although it is intriguing to hear Venuti on such fresh songs, the brevity of the performances (all clock in around the three-minute mark) and Stein's occasional organ (which sounds a bit corny, especially compared to his much more swinging piano) bring the rating down a bit. Not an essential release but some of the music on this rarity (which has not yet been reissued on CD) is intriguing.