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Joe Venuti's Blue Four

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Giuseppe Venuti (September 16, 1903 – August 14, 1978), better known as Joe Venuti, was an Italian-American jazz musician and pioneer jazz violinist.

Considered the father of jazz violin, he pioneered the use of string instruments in jazz along with the guitarist Eddie Lang, a childhood friend of his. Through the 1920s and early 1930s, Venuti and Lang made many recordings, as leader and as featured soloists. He and Lang became so well known for their ‘hot’ violin and guitar solos that on many commercial dance recordings they were hired do 12 or 24 bar duos towards the end of otherwise stock dance arrangements. In 1926, Venuti and Lang started recording for the OKeh label as a duet (after a solitary duet issued on Columbia), followed by “Blue Four” combinations, which are considered milestone jazz recordings. Venuti also recorded a number of larger, more commercial dance records for OKeh under the name New Yorkers.

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