China Boy -Joe Venuti 1975.mov





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Published on Feb 5, 2010

China Boy Venuti Joe 1975
In a tribute to Bix dinner party in 1975 violinist Joe Venuti plays "China Boy". For a while Joe had pianist Marian McPartland on tour with him and one notices the terrific subtle back up lines Marian throws in. How light her accompanyment is as well. On bass is Major Holley and some fine drumming by Cliff Leeman, now almost gone blind. At the Worldchampionship of Jazz in 1975 where Cliff was playing as well I noticed him struggle, however once behind his drums, he was relaxed and comfortable, which appears to be the case at this party as well.
Giuseppe (Joe) Venuti (1903 -- 1978) was a U.S. jazz musician and violinist. Venuti claimed to have been born aboard a ship as his parents emigrated from Italy, though many believe he was simply born in Philadelphia. 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 produced many recordings. He worked with Benny Goodman, the Dorsey Brothers, Bing Crosby, the Boswell Sisters and most of the other important white jazz and semi-jazz figures of the late 1920s and early 1930s. However, following Lang's early death in 1933, he began to slip off the radar. After a period of relative obscurity in the 1940s and 1950s, he was 'rediscovered' in the late 1960s and established a musical relationship with tenor saxophonist Zoot Sims, that was almost as fruitful as his previous collaboration with Lang. Venuti and Sims produced a number of very exciting recordings in 1974/75: an appropriate coda to the great violinist's career.

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