|All Artists: Artie Shaw|
Title: Free for All
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Four Star
Release Date: 6/20/1995
Genres: Blues, Jazz
Style: Swing Jazz
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 074644409048, 094629400921, 946294009223
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Great music, just not "greatest hits"
T. Fisher | 07/12/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When they called this album "Free for All", I'm not sure they realized it really would be free -- or just about. At this writing, the MP3 download is a crazy 20 cents. You certainly can't go wrong at that price. But as it turns out, this is a really nice little album of Artie Shaw classics.
The music is great, but this album is by no means a "greatest hits" collection. Artie Shaw's greatest hits are not included in this collection -- no "Begin the Beguine", "Stardust", "Moonglow", "Frenesi", or "Clarinet Concerto Parts 1 and 2". Some of these tracks do end up on "best of" collections sometimes, though -- like "Shoot the Likker to Me, Johnny Boy", "It's a Long Way to Tipperary" or the spooky, offbeat "Nightmare".
Artie Shaw was a different kind of jazz player, in that he didn't just play jazz. Later in his career he played with the New York Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein. And he'd do things like take a few years off to study advanced mathematics. But during the 1930s, he had a running rivalry of sorts with Benny Goodman, the other big-time clarinet-playing bandleader. This music is from his big band days.
The quality is pretty good, but some tracks show their age. There is some pretty loud record needle noise on a few tracks, and you can hear that they tried to fix the needle noise on other tracks though mastering that took out the high end and left a kind of muted tone over the music.
But really, for the price? Can't beat it. I'm glad to have an Artie Shaw collection again after a few years without one. Highly recommended at the special price. Recommended just in general at any reasonable price.
Update 7/12/2010: The price has gone up to $8.99. This might be above "reasonable" for a collection with some tracks that have poor quality. You might be better off looking for a real "best of Artie Shaw" around that price, which has the crowd-pleasers on it. But I'm still glad to have this."