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Musician

Joe Venuti

Born:

Giuseppe "Joe" Venuti is widely regarded as the first great jazz violinist. Born to Italian parents who immigrated to the States; he learned classical violin as a child, the fruits of which can be clearly seen in his exciting melodic and rhythmic technique. At school in Philadelphia in 1913 he met guitarist Eddie Lang; and they started playing together, at first playing polkas, inventing and trading variations, quickly moving into jazz. It was a fortuitous and rewarding partnership. From 1926 to 33 they made many recordings, in a variety of small band line-ups, becoming internationally famous, not least because the novelty of the guitar/violin combination. Venuti's technique was groundbreaking; he had a sharp, bright tone, excellent intonation, and an ability to play in any key, anywhere on the violin

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Classic Jazz, Past and Present

Read "Classic Jazz, Past and Present" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


From May 2021, a show of all pre-bebop classic jazz, performed by musicians from that era as well as more recent players. Some of the performers on the show are Ethel Waters, Artie Shaw, Manhattan Transfer, Maryann Price, Louis Armstrong and Turk Murphy with Lord Buckley. Playlist Henry Threadgill Sextett “I Can't Wait Till ...

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Article: Book Review

The Lady Swings: Memoirs of a Jazz Drummer

Read "The Lady Swings: Memoirs of a Jazz Drummer" reviewed by David A. Orthmann


The Lady Swings: Memoirs of a Jazz Drummer Dottie Dodgion and Wayne Enstice 264 Pages ISBN: #9780252085512 University of Illinois Press2021 Dottie Dodgion isn't reluctant to share the trials and tribulations endured throughout a long life. Dodgion was raped by her stepfather at age ten, afflicted with early ...

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Article: The Jazz Life

Fit As A Fiddle: How The Violin Helped Shape Jazz, Part 1

Read "Fit As A Fiddle: How The Violin Helped Shape Jazz, Part 1" reviewed by Peter Rubie


Part 1 | Part 2 That was then... Considering jazz is an art form that mostly makes it up as it goes along, it's ironically appropriate that printed records--i.e., data--from the days of its birth are decidedly sparse. We know, at least, that during the 18th and 19th Centuries in New Orleans white plantation ...

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Article: Album Review

Johanna Burnheart: Burnheart

Read "Burnheart" reviewed by Chris May


The violin has an eventful history in jazz. But it is still a niche instrument, despite a line of singular players stretching back to Stephane Grappelli and Stuff Smith (who deserves some bonus points for composing the immortal “If You're A Viper"). There are no schools of jazz violinists, simply a succession of one-off stylists, with ...

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Article: Profile

20 Seattle Jazz Musicians You Should Know: Rick Mandyck

Read "20 Seattle Jazz Musicians You Should Know: Rick Mandyck" reviewed by Paul Rauch


The city of Seattle has a jazz history that dates back to the very beginnings of the form. It was home to the first integrated club scene in America on Jackson St in the 1920's and 1930's. It saw a young Ray Charles arrive as a teenager to escape the nightmare of Jim Crow in the ...

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Article: Profile

Stuff Smith: Swing Violinist

Read "Stuff Smith: Swing Violinist" reviewed by AAJ Staff


From the 1995-2003 archive: This article first appeared at All About Jazz in 2002. When Hezekiah Leroy Gordon “Stuff" Smith picked up the violin, the house began to rock. The second major popularizer of the violin in jazz after Joe Venuti, Stuff received great success with his small high energy swing band in the ...

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Article: Profile

20 Seattle Jazz Musicians You Should Know: Thomas Marriott

Read "20 Seattle Jazz Musicians You Should Know: Thomas Marriott" reviewed by Paul Rauch


The city of Seattle has a jazz history that dates back to the very beginnings of the form. It was home to the first integrated club scene in America on Jackson St in the 1920's and 1930's. It saw a young Ray Charles arrive as a teenager to escape the nightmare of Jim Crow in the ...

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Article: Profile

20 Seattle Jazz Musicians You Should Know: Marina Albero

Read "20 Seattle Jazz Musicians You Should Know: Marina Albero" reviewed by Paul Rauch


The city of Seattle has a jazz history that dates back to the very beginnings of the form. It was home to the first integrated club scene in America on Jackson St in the 1920's and 30's. It saw a young Ray Charles arrive as a teenager to escape the nightmare of Jim Crow in the ...

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Article: Album Review

Tomoko Omura: Branches Vol. 1

Read "Branches Vol. 1" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello


With Branches Vol. 1, award-winning violinist Tomoro Omura dives deep into exploring textures and melodic invention drawn from Japanese folklore. This effort is a contemporized display which validates Omura's vast instrumental abilities and also channels Japanese folklore as a launch-point for her superior composition skills. The recording is seductive, deeply emotional and meditative, and, simultaneously, elegantly ...


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