Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Eddie Lang - Jazz Guitar Virtuoso

No jazz guitar playing in the way we know it today would have been the same, if not the virtuosity of Eddie Lang had guided the road to follow by later guitarists. The influence of Lang's pioneering fretwork has from time to time been neglected in favour of much later players of his instrument. To correct this mistake I'll remind the reader just a few details regarding his career, here quoted from the Wikipedia encyclopia:
Eddie Lang (October 25, 1902 – March 26, 1933) was a jazz guitarist, considered by many the finest of his era. Lang was born Salvatore Massaro, the son of an Italian-American instrument maker in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At first, he took violin lessons for 11 years. In school he became friends with Joe Venuti, with whom he would work for much of his career. He was playing professionally by about 1918, playing violin, banjo, and guitar. He worked with various bands in the USA's north-east, worked in London (late 1924 to early 1925), then settled in New York City. He played with the bands of Venuti, Adrian Rollini, Roger Wolfe Kahn and Jean Goldkette in addition to doing a large amount of freelance radio and recording work.In 1929 he joined Paul Whiteman's Orchestra, and can be seen and heard in the movie "The King of Jazz".When Bing Crosby left Whiteman, Lang went with Bing as his accompanist and can be seen with him in the 1932 movie "The Big Broadcast". Lang also played under the pseudonym Blind Willie Dunn on a number of blues records with Lonnie Johnson. Eddie Lang died from a sudden hemorrhage following a tonsillectomy in New York City.
Further info on Eddie Lang including sound available here
More info available here


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