Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Joe Venuti /Tony Romano - “Never Before…Never Again” (1954)
Recorded and produced by Johnny Mercer, captures a spontaneous 1954 Hollywood studio date between legendary jazz violinist Joe Venuti and journeyman guitarist Tony Romano. Venuti made his name playing with guitar innovator Eddie Lang from the 1920s until the latter’s untimely 1933 death. Mercer introduced Venuti and Romano in 1937. They hit it off immediately, and the duet played together regularly until Venuti died in 1978. The guitar heard on this recording, a booming Gibson L-5 prototype designed by Eddie Lang, was given by Lang’’s wife to Venuti, with instructions to pass it on to Romano, in whose playing she heard echoes of her deceased husband’s signature style. (Romano readily admits to having worn out many Lang platters attempting to master the innovator’s guitar approach).
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