Eddie Lang Bleg

August 21, 2007

Nicolai Foss

Here is an Eddie Lang tribute page, apparently unfinished. And here is the redhotjazz.com page on Eddie. Here is the Wiki on Eddie. And here he is with Bing. Apparently, there has just been an Eddie Lang, sorry, Salvatore Massaro, Festival (“XVII Edizione”) in Italy.

Where is (are) Eddie’s L5(s — he had at least two when he died)?

Who today (apart from Marty Grosz and, to a smaller extent Bucky Pizzarelli) play in the Lang (Kress, McDonough) style?

How much of Eddie did Django Reinhardt know? Are there any indications in Django’s recorded output that he learned from Lang?

13 Responses to “Eddie Lang Bleg”

  1. Michele Ariodante Says:

    Dear Mr.Foss

    I have only today discovered this website and I find it really interesting. I am an Italian guitar player and I’ve just participated few days ago at the Italian festival you write about. There, together with Lino Patruno (the most famous Italian traditional jazz musician) we have played a concert completely dedicated to the Lang-Venuti repertoire. I have played guitar -violin duos with violinist Mauro Carpi (Doin’ things, Wild Cat and also the solo guitar tune April Kisses). I have played and recorded several times the Lang and even Kress music (you will find examples if you search Michele Ariodante in Youtube). One of th most exciting moment happened in Ascona festival in 2002 when a Eddie Lang night was held (Bucky Pizzarelli, Frank Vignola, Howard Alden, Marty Grosz and Al Viola performed on that occasion). We try to keep the sound and memory of players like Lang, Kress and McDonough alive, together with their exceptional style. I’ll ask to Italian Jazz critic Adriano Mazzoletti (who wrote a impressive biography of Eddie Lang) if he has knowledge of where the Lang’s L5 are. It seems tha Django was aware of the Lang-Venuti duo and some suggests that his interest in jazz began after listening to their records, but this has to be furtherly investigated.

  2. Nicolai Foss Says:

    Thx a lot for this, Michele. I will blog later on your work when I have checked it out.

  3. […] my Eddie Lang bleg I asked who today play in the Lang/Kress/McDonough style. Italian guitarist, Michele Ariodante […]

  4. Iain. Says:

    Hi.Martin Wheatly ,(of The Rio Trio & Hula Bluebirds,amongst msny other outfits),plays a most effective Eddie Lang style.He executes a fine rendition of Eddies Twister on the Rio Trio recording.
    I use elements of Lang chord stlyes when I can.You will ,however,most likley never hear me as I lurk in the margins of society.

  5. Joseph Says:

    Matt Munisteri plays in that style with his 1927 Master Model L-5.

  6. I cannot seem to find the biography of Eddie Lang anywhere. My husband is a Jazz Guitarist and I am a Classical Guitar student and we are working on (v. early stages) creating a stage play / evening of Jazz guitar based on the lives of Eddie Lang, Carl Kress and Dick McDonough. If you know where I can get a copy of Adriano Mazzoletti’s Biography of Eddie Lang I’d be so grateful.

  7. Nicolai Foss Says:

    Amanda, What a great idea!!!! Unfortunately, I have no idea re the bio of Lang you mention; in fact, I didn’t know of its existence.

  8. Michele Ariodante Says:

    Dear Nicolai

    I was asked by Adriano Mazzoletti (the author of the Lang biography)to write musical transcriptions and analysis for the book (which is out of print). I have (obiouvsly) a copy of the book, but it seems quite difficult to scan it and make it available (beside all, it’s written in italian!). Anyway, if you have questions about the book feel free to write me a mail.
    Best wishes
    Michele Ariodante

  9. Nicolai Foss Says:

    Dear Michele, Many thanks for this valuable information! I am amazed that anyone would write what is apparerently a scholarly biography on an (Italo-)American jazz guitarist in Italian. Why don’t you suggest to Mazzoletti that he has the book translated into English? I am pretty convinced there would be sufficient interest, and that he could convince a major publisher to publish it (cf. e.g. Michael Dregni’s recent gypsy jazz/Django books with Oxford University Press). Best, Nicolai

    • Michele Ariodante Says:

      Dear Nicolai

      I will tell about your suggestion to Mazzoletti himself (who is finishing the second volume of a monumental history of italian jazz). Regarding this subject, I’d like to send to you some mp3 of vintage recordings of absolutely great Italian jazz guitarists of the 40’s. You’ll be amazed when you’ll listen to them, I’m sure. Just send me an email and I’ll send them to you.
      Best, Michele

  10. Nicolai Foss Says:

    Wow. Thanks. My mail address is njf.smg@cbs.dk

  11. Nick Alexander Says:

    Great to have stumbled upon this site! I’m a guitar player and a big fan of Eddie Lang and would like to find out as much info on him as possible. To make a point, photos verify that Eddie did have two L-5 guitars; one was a dot inlay and the other was a block inlay.

    The following is unverified info:
    A story that I was told by a friend who spoke with Kitty Lang in the 1970’s was that Eddie took both L-5’s to a recording gig and left one of them in the car. The one in the car was subsequently stolen. At the time my friend spoke to her (1970’s) she was selling the L-5 along with a Gibson Banjo of his. I’ve also heard that currently that guitar is somewhere in Northern California.

  12. Steve Willcox Says:


    One of Eddie Langs guitars is heard on the CD “Never Before, Never Again”, by Joe Venuti and Tony Romano. Nice music – worth a listen. The guitar sounds lovely.


    Could be the same one shown in the photo of players and guitars on John Pisano’s website.


    Hope this helps.

    Steve Willcox

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