Eddie Lang & Joe Venuti: Stringing the Blues
Stringing the Blues
1920's and 1930's Sides Remastered (JSP Records)
Recorded: New York, November 8, 1926
Rating: 88/100 (learn more)
"Stringing the Blues," drawing on the early jazz classic "Tiger Rag," is the first violin-guitar duet of Joe Venuti & Eddie Lang. As such, it is a pioneering work. As in his duets with Lonnie Johnson, Lang lays down a solid rhythmic base and harmonic structure for Venuti's sliding, skittering, often staccato lead work on violin. On this track, Lang mostly uses a standard 1920s, on-the-beat, thrum/thrum/thrum rhythm; it provides a strong momentum, but after a while feels choppy and, well, standardized. But at a couple of points Lang and Venuti have fine, excellently coordinated intricate exchanges. This music has a quintessential 1920s feel. Venuti's bowing draws effectively on the expressive capacities of the violin, and the flow of his lead lines makes for good jazz with a different texture and style than in the best-known earlier jazz recordings.
Reviewer: Dean Alger