DjangoBooks.com

Welcome to our Community!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Related Discussions

Who's Online (1)

  • MichaelHorowitz 4:05PM

Today's Birthdays

euryleia chrisd acalvane92 han13 slowfingers

Workout #1: "Black and Blue Bottom"

Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
edited September 2015 in Eddie Lang Club Posts: 1,311
Hello, Eddie Lang Club members worldwide, with a special shout-out to New Zealand!

Let's get started by learning "Black and Blue Bottom", the first tune the Venuti and Lang recorded as a duo in September 1926 for Columbia. The two musicians were both about 24 years old at this point, and both had done a lot of recording with other groups, but never as a duo.

Jazz historians tell us that Venuti and Lang began playing together at an early age, ever since their first meeting at South Philadelphia's James Campbell (elementary) School, where both played violin in the school orchestra. The two boys became inseparable as each developed his unique playing style in the process of playing together constantly. It is known that both Eddie and Joe could play violin, guitar and mandolin, though it seems that only Eddie played tenor banjo.

We can imagine that the two young men must have done a lot of gigging in South Philadelphia's "Little Italy", possibly even accompanying accordion players at dances in much the same manner as Django?

But in hindsight, it must also have been the case that Eddie and Joe were keen to play their own version of the newly popular form of music "jazz" that had begun to sweep the nation ever since 1917, when the Original Dixieland Jazz Band first came up from New Orleans to take New York by storm. This would have been when Joe and Eddie were both about fifteen or sixteen.

So at what point in their musical development did the two lads did begin composing/playing "Black and Blue Bottom"? Was this a tune that they had been working on for years? Or was it something they put together just prior to the 1926 recording session? Alas, we can never know.

But since it was their first recording, and since it beautifully showcases each musician's mature playing style, it seems like a good starting point.

********

So here's the plan: for the next couple of days, your first assignment is to listen to this as often as you can:

https://video.search.yahoo.com/video/play;_ylt=A2KLqIFka3BVdkgAk7MsnIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTByZWc0dGJtBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDdmlkBHZ0aWQDBGdwb3MDMQ--?p=Black+and+Blue+Bottom+venuti+Lang&vid=afb1c5aae6e65975b63e84f55f34929e&turl=http://ts4.mm.bing.net/th?id=WN.%2fmNoicVxRs2620T9DmljCg&pid=15.1&h=262&w=300&c=7&rs=1&rurl=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiuvJCIyzuk&tit=Black+And+Blue+Bottom+-+JOE+VENUTI+&+EDDIE+LANG&c=0&h=262&w=300&l=177&sigr=11b6310am&sigt=11f9omik6&sigi=12m22q2dv&age=1355065539&fr2=p:s,v:v&fr=yhs-mozilla-001&hsimp=yhs-001&hspart=mozilla&tt=b

In a few days, I will begin posting sequential sound clips from the tune, along with my best attempt to capture in chords or tab what I hear Eddie doing on guitar.

Our first job as musical detectives will be to establish exactly what fingerings Lang used. (Sometimes its hard to avoid using the ones that we habitually use, which may or may not match Lang's... )

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to listen real carefully and see if you can improve on whatever I've done. We're going to argue about every chord and transcribe this thing down to a growl.

Hopefully when we finish this piece, each of us will have a complete, accurate version of the tune under our belt.

And who know, someday if you are very lucky, you will meet a violin player who can play this piece just like Joe Venuti, because I believe that this piece has actually been transcribed for violin, though I doubt that the transcription includes Joe's final masterful "four string" chorus... (Spoiler alert: Eddie's weird augmented-chord solo is designed to give Joe enough time to wrap the horsehair of his bow over the strings and get the wooden part underneath the violin body to play all four strings....which is likely the reason that this recording is said to have required about a dozen takes!)

********************

After we've done our best to master this tune, I propose that we start by looking very carefully at a few more tunes that feature Lang as solo accompanist before moving on to try to figure out other things that he recorded with larger groups. Right now, what we need are recordings where the guitar can be heard real clearly and transcribed very accurately.

Lang-ingly yours,

Will
I live in a little tourist town called Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada, which is about twenty miles north of Niagara Falls.

If you are ever planning on visiting the beautiful Niagara area, feel free to PM me and perhaps we can get together and do some jamming.
NoneJehu
«13

Comments

  • swing68swing68 Poznan, Poland✭✭✭ Manouche Modele Orchestre, JWC Catania Swing
    edited June 2015 Posts: 117
    Bit of a chunky URL, that.

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=WiuvJCIyzuk will get you there!

    Wim Glenn
    The war on Am7 and Cmaj7 begins here ...
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,311
    Thanks, swing68, there was a problem with Safari so I had to use FireFox and it did that crazy-long URL.

    I was actually trying to download this MP3, but it wouldn't work... let's try that again...

    Will
    I live in a little tourist town called Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada, which is about twenty miles north of Niagara Falls.

    If you are ever planning on visiting the beautiful Niagara area, feel free to PM me and perhaps we can get together and do some jamming.
  • swing68swing68 Poznan, Poland✭✭✭ Manouche Modele Orchestre, JWC Catania Swing
    Posts: 117
    Result!!!

    Interesting, isn't it - Django at least is on the record disavowing the influence of Venuti and Lang, but it's all here - including Stephane's most frequently-used motif.

    That comping style of Lang's is something on its own, though - thanks for bringing it to our attention!
    The war on Am7 and Cmaj7 begins here ...
  • Stephane did acknowledge Joe Venuti's influence I beleive.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,311
    OK, after many experiments I have established that successful uploading demands reducing both the quality and length of my clips. So let's hope this sounds okay.

    *****************

    Attached is the guitar/violin intro to the tune, so characteristic of the Venuti-Lang sound.

    Just for the sake of argument, I'm going to assert that Lang's harmony part is all played between frets 7 and 10... but there are several fingerings and I encourage you to try them and then plead the case for your favourite.

    Will
    I live in a little tourist town called Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada, which is about twenty miles north of Niagara Falls.

    If you are ever planning on visiting the beautiful Niagara area, feel free to PM me and perhaps we can get together and do some jamming.
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,311
    Hey, we're on a roll here, so I'm going to go ahead and post the next clip.

    *********************

    This is Lang's chordal intro to the tune. He uses just one seventh shape

    3X231X

    and moves it up and down the fingerboard.

    But you also need to know a trick discussed in a previous thread--- he will often go from the seventh to the ninth chord simply by bending his pinky backwards

    3X2333

    ...and then quite often go right back to the seventh shape again.

    This works quite easily for me, hopefully for you, too...

    Will

    I live in a little tourist town called Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada, which is about twenty miles north of Niagara Falls.

    If you are ever planning on visiting the beautiful Niagara area, feel free to PM me and perhaps we can get together and do some jamming.
  • BonesBones Moderator
    edited June 2015 Posts: 2,658
    Hey Will, that intro sounds awesome!

    Soundslice transcription started. Sorry the measure divisions are a bit sloppy and I'll try to clean that up. Also, there is a bit of a pause between the little duet intro and Lang's chord intro. I'll try to work on this as I have time but I won't be around much this week so anyone is welcome to have a go at it. Just for kicks I put in a Venuti tab track (for guitar) just in case anyone wants to adapt his stuff.

    https://www.soundslice.com/yt/WiuvJCIyzuk/
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,311
    Mike, thanks, I'm so happy you're doing this on Soundslice.

    I'd love to do it myself but I'm a bit technophobic...

    Will
    I live in a little tourist town called Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada, which is about twenty miles north of Niagara Falls.

    If you are ever planning on visiting the beautiful Niagara area, feel free to PM me and perhaps we can get together and do some jamming.
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    edited June 2015 Posts: 1,311
    OK, tech problem apparently solved by Michael H--- thanks! Although my draft version of the tab has mysteriously vanished--- @#$%!!!

    Anyway, I just went back through the thread and deleted all the tech-related posts.

    Here's the next Lang clip--- bars 1 and 2 of the chorus.

    It's all over a G chord, and it's not hard to play, but only Eddie Lang would have ever thought of doing this.

    Sorry I can't re-do the tab all over again right at the moment, but you guys try it and see what you think he's doing!

    Will

    I live in a little tourist town called Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada, which is about twenty miles north of Niagara Falls.

    If you are ever planning on visiting the beautiful Niagara area, feel free to PM me and perhaps we can get together and do some jamming.
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    edited June 2015 Posts: 1,311
    I've got to go start packing as we're leaving for Europe tomorrow.

    All these technical frustrations have left me with no time to tab out any of these clips, but you guys can probably do a lot of the heavy lifting for yourselves anyway... most of this stuff is in first position!

    Bars 3 and 4 (note the lack of that #%*$ "ampersand" symbol which caused me untold frustration...)

    I live in a little tourist town called Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada, which is about twenty miles north of Niagara Falls.

    If you are ever planning on visiting the beautiful Niagara area, feel free to PM me and perhaps we can get together and do some jamming.
Sign In or Register to comment.
Home  |  Forum  |  Blog  |  Contact  |  206-528-9873
Follow Us
The Premier Gypsy Jazz Marketplace
DjangoBooks.com
Search
Banner Adverts
Sell Your Guitar
Follow Us
© 2019 DjangoBooks.com, all rights reserved worldwide.
Software: Kryptronic eCommerce, Copyright 1999-2019 Kryptronic, Inc. Exec Time: 0.043725 Seconds Memory Usage: 3.230377 Megabytes
Kryptronic