Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Personal Best: The Bluebird / Victor Years (1938-45)
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Artie Shaw made this selection himself of his favorite performances from his band's recordings from 1938 to 1945, including broadcast tapes as well as studio recordings and balancing ballads with some hard-swinging perform... more »
Artie Shaw made this selection himself of his favorite performances from his band's recordings from 1938 to 1945, including broadcast tapes as well as studio recordings and balancing ballads with some hard-swinging performances. The portrait that emerges is of a band that could do many of the things that other bands did, as well as a few things of its own. "Rosalie" and "Diga Diga Doo" are classic swing tunes; "Begin the Beguine" and "I Cover the Waterfront" are lush orchestrations; Eddie Sauter's "Maid with the Flaccid Air" is distinctly modernist. Though overshadowed by Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw played great clarinet in his prime. Possessed of a warm, singing tone that was perfect for theme statements, he had a distinctive way with the blues, too, apparent on Handy's "Chantez-les Bas." He was also a virtuosic improviser capable of taking his solos in surprising directions with unusual note choices, use of the high register, and an almost oblique rhythmic conception. His extended "Concerto for Clarinet" has a wit and vitality all its own, and it's as much a showcase for his composing talents as for his instrumental prowess, mixing in blues and boogie and coolly distant strings with propulsive horns riffs. As personal as it is, the concerto is also a showcase for great sidemen like pianist Johnny Guarnieri and drummer Nick Fatool. Shaw's comprehensive liner comments add to the interest here. --Stuart Broomer
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It doesn't get any better than this.
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you like Artie Shaw (and there's a good chance you do, if you're reading this) don't hesitate to buy this one. The only thing that saves me from obsession with this CD is the fact that I keep giving my copies away to people with whom I want to share something truly special."