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Mixed Bag
Artie Shaw, Mel Torme
Mixed Bag
Genres: Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (19) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Artie Shaw, Mel Torme
Title: Mixed Bag
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Music Masters Jazz
Release Date: 10/11/1994
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Style: Swing Jazz
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
Other Editions: Mixed Bag
UPC: 016126511924

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CD Reviews

Truly a Mixed Bag
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Artie Shaw is incapable of turning out less than good music. This particular CD contains tracks of different types and styles, ranging from good to great in musical taste. The Hornet and the Glider are two original compositions by Buster Harding, also known for his work with Goodman and Basie. These tracks represent excellent big-band instrumental jazz. The Hornet features a terrific, early example of "cool" jazz tenor by Herbie Steward, contrasting nicely with the fervent soloing of Shaw. The Glider has a starting introduction by Shaw, an excellent sax plus clarinet soli, and an adequate solo by Ray Linn (not Ray Eldridge, despite Shaw's insistence in the liner notes that it was Roy - remember the event occurred over 50 years ago). Love of My Life is a Shaw composition, and is an updated arrangement from the original 1940 version, which can be seen in the movie Second Chorus, starring Fred Astaire. Let's Walk is an orinal composition by George Siravo, one of Shaw's chief arrangers from 1944-45. After a brief intro in the rare key of concert E, it evolves into a catchy blues tune stated by the harmon-muted trumpets. The soloists are again Shaw and Linn. The first four songs mentioned above are from Shaw's last great band that was largely intact for approximately one year (from late 1944 to late 1945). Shaw's later 1949 band, though more modern and laden with star sidemen, lacks the seasoning and precision of this particular band. Unfortunately, most of this band's output was recorded for RCA Victor, and in late 1945 Shaw switched to Musicraft, which found their way to this CD. After Shaw disbanded the band in late 1945, he then recorded with a studio band or orchestra. Love for Sale features Babe Russin (formerly with Benny Goodman and featured on Sing Sing Sing at the Carnegie Hall concert)on tenor sax. Anniversary Song is rather commercial sounding, with Shaw sounding less than inspired. The recording of Begin the Beguine is rarly heard, due to conflicts with RCA, but is far too flowery and commercial for most Shaw listeners. Given Shaw's expressed disdain for the tune, it seems odd that he deemed a revision was necessary. With the exception of Sunny Side Up (a recording by Artie's 1954 sextet that even Shaw admits doesn't really fit in with the rest of the CD), the remaining tunes feature vocalists, most notably Mel Torme. My Heart Belongs to Daddy is sung by Kitty Kallen and incorporates the Shaw theme song "Nightmare" within the arrangement. The liner notes indicate that the composer, Cole Porter was quite pleased with this arrangement. Get Out of Town, I Believe, For You, and Its the Same Old Dream feature early vocal solos by Torme, all in a slow, romantic style rarely associated with Shaw. The Mel-Tones, when paired with Mel on What Is This Thing, Guilty, I've Got the Sun, Changing My Tune perform brilliantly and add significantly to Mel's lustre. When You're Around is a dreary Shaw composition, featuring Lillian Lane, formerly with Gene Krupa and Claude Thornhill. Lane's singing ability can't save the tune itself. Shaw's commentary on the liner notes fail to mention that the vocalist/composer on Connecticut, Ralph Blane, composed Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas as well, and implies that Blane was an obscure figure. Connecticut is pleasantly performed, but no jazz here. Sunny Side Up, as mentioned before is an excellent jazz performance by Shaw and The Gramercy Five, but shares nothing with the other recordings. It would have been preferable to include other Musicraft sides instead. Unfortunately, the fidelity is quite variable on the Musicraft recordings. Bear with it, though, because Shaw is always worth listening to."