Joe Venuti and Earl Hines

Jazz violinist Joe Venuti and jazz pianist Earl Hines both began their careers in the 1920s. Venuti played with great jazz musicians such as Benny Goodman, Louis Armstrong, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, and Eddie Lang (Venuti and Lang were well known for their violin/guitar duos and they had an influence on Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli). Earl Hines played for many years with Louis Armstrong and was the pianist on several of Armstrong’s early recordings. It has been said that Hines was the only musician who matched Armstrong’s skill and inventive ideas when it came to improvisation.

In 1975, Joe Venuti and Earl Hines teamed up (this was the first time they played together) to make a recording called “Hot Sonatas.” Hines was brought out of retirement to make the recording and Joe Venuti was fading into obscurity (his partner Eddie Lang died early in 1933 and Venuti drank heavily). Venuti had a comeback in the late 1960s after a 15 year lull in his career. Here are a couple of tunes from the recording called “The One I Love Belongs to Somebody Else,” and “Hot Sonatas.” Enjoy!

Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang play “Freeze and Melt,” and “Pink Elephants”

Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang were pioneers in violin/guitar jazz in the 1920s and 1930s. They went to school together and played violin together in an orchestra. Eddie Lang later switched from violin to guitar and Joe Venuti stayed with the violin. They teamed up and formed a duo and made their first recording together in 1926. They quickly became popular and were in great demand. They were part of various jazz ensembles including Jean Goldkette’s Orchestra, and Paul Whiteman’s Orchestra. They played with many of the major jazz musicians of their day incuding: Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, the Dorsey Brothers, and Bix Beiderbecke.

Here are two recordings featuring Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang. The First recording is a piece called “Freeze and Melt.” It is played by Ed Lang and his orchestra: Joe Venuti, Eddie Lang · Bix Beiderbecke, Red McKenzie, Frankie Trumbauer, Louis Armstrong, and Tommy Dorsey. The second recording is a piece called “Pink Elephants” and it is played by Joe Venuti and his Orchestra and features Joe VEnuti and Eddie Lang. I hope that you enjoy these tunes.

Stephane Grappelli and Joe Venuti play “Venupelli Blues” and “After You’ve Gone”

Stephane Grappelli (1908-1997) was a French-Italian jazz violinist and jazz pianist. He is most well known for his collaboration with the Quintet of the Hot Club of France and gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt. Grappelli also played with many other great musicians including jazz pianist Earl Hines, Duke Ellington, and violinists Eddie South, Stuff Smith, Svend Asmussen, Yehudi Menuhin, and Joe Venuti. Throughout the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, Grappelli was constantly re-inventing his playing style to stay relevant. It wasn’t until 1970 that his performing career took off again. He began touring the world. Grappelli continued to perform and record until his death at age 89 in 1997.

Joe Venuti (1903-1978) was an Italian jazz violinist. He and jazz guitarist Eddie Lang are credited with being the first musicians to play violin guitar jazz. After Lang’s early death in 1933 Venuti played with various groups. In the 1940s and 1950s Joe Venuti’s star began to fade and he suffered from alcoholism. He was “re-discovered” in 1967 and resumed regular performances and made many recordings until his death in 1978 from lung cancer.

Here are two pieces from a recording that Stephane Grappelli and Joe Venuti made together in 1969 called “Venupelli Blues.” The first piece is called “Venupelli Blues” (a word that combines the last names of both violinists) and the second is a jazz standard called “After You’ve Gone.” I hope that you enjoy this music. The other musicians playing with Grappelli and Venuti on the recording are Barney Kessel on guitar and George Wein on piano. They are part of a supporting four-piece rhythm section.

Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang – “I’ve Found A New Baby”

“I’ve Found A New Baby”

I’ve Found A New Baby is a popular jazz standard. It was written by Jack Palmer and Spencer Williams. Clarence Williams and his Blue Five were the first to record the tune in 1926. Since then it has been recorded by many musicians.

Joe Venuti (1903-1978)

Joe Venuti is considered by many people to be the father of jazz violin.  He is well known today for his recordings with jazz guitarist Eddie Lang.  Venuti also worked with Benny Goodman, the Dorsey brothers, Paul Whiteman’s orchestra, and the Boswell Sisters and Bix Beiderbecke as well as other jazz musicians.

Eddie Lang (1902-1933)

Eddie Lang is the father of the jazz guitar.  He worked primarily with violinist Joe Venuti (from 1921-1933).  Eddie Lang was a member of the Paul Whiteman orchestra.  He also worked with Louis Armstrong, blues guitarist Lonnie Johnson, and later in his career he was Bing Crosby’s accompanist.

Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang were a major influence on Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli and the Quintet of the Hot Club of France.

Here is a recording of I’ve Found A New Baby by Joe Venuti (violin), Eddie Lang (guitar), Jimmy Dorsey (clarinet, baritone sax), Frank Signorelli (piano), and Joe Tarto (bass). It was recorded on November 12, 1930.

Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang “Goin Places,” and “Stringing the Blues”

Joe Venuti (1903-1978)

Joe Venuti is considered by many people to be the father of jazz violin.  He is well known today for his recordings with jazz guitarist Eddie Lang.  Venuti also worked with Benny Goodman, the Dorsey brothers, Paul Whiteman’s orchestra, and the Boswell Sisters and Bix Beiderbecke as well as other jazz musicians.

Eddie Lang (1902-1933)

Eddie Lang is the father of the jazz guitar.  He worked primarily with violinist Joe Venuti (from 1921-1933).  Eddie Lang was a member of the Paul Whiteman orchestra.  He also worked with Louis Armstrong, blues guitarist Lonnie Johnson, and later in his career he was Bing Crosby’s accompanist.

 

Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang were a major influence on Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli and the Quintet of the Hot Club of France.  Here are two recordings of Eddie Lang and Joe Venuti entitled “Goin Places,” and “Stringing the Blues.”  On “Goin Places” Arthur Schutt joins Lang and Venuti on the piano.