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Eddie Lang (October 25, 1902March 26, 1933) was an American Jazz guitarist, regarded as the most important Chicago jazz guitarist and the Father of the Jazz Guitar. He played a Gibson L-4 and L-5 guitar, providing great influence for many guitarists, including Django Reinhardt.
The Gibson L5 owned by Eddie Lang


Life

Lang was born Salvatore Massaro, the son of an Italian-American instrument maker in Philadelphia, Pennsylvaniamarker. 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 USAmarker's north-east, worked in Londonmarker (late 1924 to early 1925), then settled in New York Citymarker.

Eddie Lang was the first important jazz guitarist. He was effectively able to integrate the guitar into 1920s jazz recordings. 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.

On February 4, 1927 Eddie Lang featured in the recording of "Singin' the Blues" by Frankie Trumbauer and His Orchestra featuring Bix Beiderbecke on cornet. Lang trades guitar licks while Beiderbecke solos on cornet in a memorable landmark jazz recording of the 1920s.

In 1930, Eddie Lang played guitar on the original recording of the jazz and pop standard "Georgia On My Mind", recorded with Hoagy Carmichael and His Orchestra. Joe Venuti and Bix Beiderbecke also played on this recording.

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 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 in 1933 at the age of thirty.

Influence

Eddie Lang's compositions, based on the Red Hot Jazz database, included "Wild Cat", "Perfect", "April Kisses" (1927), "Melody Man's Dream", "Rainbow Dreams", "Feelin' My Way", "Eddie's Twister", "Really Blue", "Penn Beach Blues", "Wild Dog", "Pretty Trix", "A Mug of Ale", "Apple Blossoms", "Beating the Dog", "Kicking the Cat", "Cheese and Crackers", "Doin' Things", "Blue Guitars", "Guitar Blues", "Hot Fingers", "Have to Change Keys to Play These Blues", "A Handful of Riffs", "Blue Room", "Deep Minor Rhythm Stomp", "Four String Joe", "Goin' Home", and "Pickin' My Way" (1932).

In 1977, Eddie Lang's recording of "Singin' the Blues" with Frankie Trumbauer and His Orchestra featuring Bix Beiderbecke on cornet was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

In 1986, Eddie Lang was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame.

Bibliography

  • Mazzoletti, Adriano. Eddie Lang: Stringin' The Blues. Rome, Italy: Pantheon Editore, 1997.
  • Sallis, James, editor. Jazz Guitar: An Anthology. Quill Publishers, 1984.
  • Worsfold, Sally-Ann. The Quintessential Eddie Lang, 1925–1932. Timeless Records, 1997.
  • Berend, Dave. Seven Original Compositions For The Guitar by the Great Eddie Lang: Transcribed and Arranged for Plectrum Guitar Solos with Guitar Accompaniment. Robbins Music, 1961.


Notes

  1. Lang's father was born in Monteroduni, an italian village in Molise. The township of Monteroduni hosts every year a commemorative "Eddie Lang Jazz Festival". See [1]
  2. Jazz and Otolaryngology: The Death of Guitarist Eddie Lang
  3. Eddie Lang at RedHot Jazz


External links




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