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  • DarrenKingUK 10:18PM

Joe Venuti live, 1967

Bill Da Costa WilliamsBill Da Costa Williams Barreiro, Portugalâś­âś­âś­ Mateos
One of my enduring musical memories was seeing Joe Venuti live at a packed Hammersmith Odeon, London (a 3500-seater concert hall ) in 1967. He was phenomenal - wandered onto the stage with a violin under his arm looking like your kindly, old, neighborhood grocer and then proceeded to tear the place apart with his musicality and showmanship. Grant Green, Kenny Burrell and Barney Kessel were among the other artists on the bill (can't remember the other acts) but as I recall the night was Venuti's.

I remember the high spot of his act involved playing the violin with the bow underneath the neck and hairs over the top. Just seen the Wikipedia description which sums it up pretty well: “Occasionally, he used a strange technique in which he unscrewed the end of his bow and wrapped the bow hair around the strings of the violin, allowing him to play chords, lending the subsequent sound a "wild" tone”. Wild it was!
alton

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