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The Very Best of Artie Shaw

4.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 30, 2011
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The Very Best of Artie Shaw by Artie Shaw

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 30, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: RCA
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • ASIN: B000056CAM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #288,769 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is one of the best single CDs available of music by Artie Shaw and His Orchestra. Shaw was one of the great innovators of swing jazz of the 1930s and 1940s, always seeking artistic ways to express himself as a clarinet player and a bandlear, despite the heavy commercial pressures he faced (he frequently broke apart his bands when he could no longer tolerate the `business' side of the music business). This CD contains a wide variety of selections that Shaw picked himself. They contain music from his three major bands: the 1938-39 band that was the most popular musical group in the country for those two years, the enormous 1940-42 band (with a large string section), and the little-appreciated 1944-45 band.
I personally think that the Artie Shaw collection "Begin the Beguine" (available on the RCA Bluebird label) is a bit stronger than this one, with a focus on more of his hits from the 1938-39 band -- as an album, it swings much harder -- but the variety here is greater, and the sound quality somewhat better. Since the two CDs share only five tracks in common, I advise buying both. They're both inexpensive, so it's a good deal.
Here's what you'll find on this CD, broken down by the different bands:
The 1938-39 Orchestra: "Any Old Time" (vocal by Billie Holliday, her only recording with the band), "Rosalie" (vocal by Tony Pastor), "Deep Purple" (vocal by Helen Forrest), "Everything Is Jumpin'" (live), "My Blue Heaven" (live), "Begin the Beguine," "Nightmare" (Shaw's opening theme), "Diga Doo" (live)
The 1940-42 Orchestra: "Star Dust," "Chantez-Les Bas," "Two in One Blues," "Nocturne," "Concerto for Clarinet (Parts 1 & 2)," "I Cover the Waterfront," "To a Broadway Rose.
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Format: Audio CD
Artie Shaw is one of the best jazz artists of his era, leading one of the best and most popular big bands. Though he may not be as well-known or lauded as the late, great Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw is certainly one of the greatest clarinetists in jazz history. This compilation, part of a fine series of vintage jazz CD's being issued by RCA Victor (see Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman), makes an excellent introduction as well as a great sampler of Artie Shaw's best work. Every track is a gem, including a few compositions by Shaw himself. While he cut most of his hits with a big band (some of which he actually despised, feeling they were too pedestrian and commercial), his best work is really with the chamber jazz he helped pioneer. It's unfortunate that Shaw retired so early, having become sick of the business (he's still alive and well).
Long time jazz enthusiasts will probably be better served by the "Last Recordings" CD's, which contain Shaw's best work and can still be found in used CD stores, but for anyone who isn't too familiar with Shaw, this is a great place to start.
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Format: Audio CD
This wonderful CD entitled The Very Best Of Artie Shaw contains 18 great hits hand picked by Shaw himself. Shaw was a prolific recording artist with a crew that could swing like no other! This CD proves it.

The CD opens with "Any Old Time" featuring Billie Holiday singing with Artie Shaw on clarinet with his crew knocking 'em dead! This beautiful ballad starts the track set with strength and it holds your attention well. "Rosalie" follows "Any Old Time;" this song has Tony Pastor doing the vocals and the melody is every bit as classic as the one for "Any Old Time." It REALLY swings and you are bound to enjoy this if this is your kind of music! Awesome! Moreover, "Deep Purple" is sung flawlessly by the great Helen Forrest as Artie and His Orchestra provide a marvelous musical arrangement.

Other gems on this CD include the classic standard called "Star Dust" by Carmichael and Parish; Artie's horns and strings do a lot to enhance the beauty of this number as they perform a sensitive yet strong musical arrangement. "My Blue Heaven" gives us another instrumental track recorded at The Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City in 1939; and this number shines like a golden nugget in the brightest light ever! "'S Wonderful" gets the royal treatment with Artie once again on clarinet and Roy Eldridge on trumpet. The sound quality on this track is particularly good, too.

I also like this CD because there are three tracks recorded and broadcast live from The Hotel Pennsylvania in New York: "Everything Is Jumpin';" "My Blue Heaven" and "Diga Diga Doo." These tracks give us a certain spontaneity and zest that you don't always hear in a recording made in a studio.
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1 Comment 14 of 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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AWSOME ! IT IS INCREDIBLE WHAT A POOR SON OF JEWISH IMMIGRANTS IN NY COULD DO WITH AN INSTRUMENT HE LEARNED
SOLO,SINCE HE STARTED WITH THE UKELELE,WENT TO SAXOPHONE AND FINALLY PICKED UP THE CLARINET .THE LIFE OF THIS FELLOW WHO DIED RECENTLY IS INCREDIBLE .HE THREW EVERYTHING AWAY IN 1954 TO WRITE..HIS GREAT POWER OF ATTENTION
TO DETAILS MADE HIS RECORDINGS SOUND BEAUTIFULLY 60+ YEARS LATER!! I STRONGLY RECOMMEND READING HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY :"THE TROUBLE WITH CINDERELLA", TO REALIZE THIS MAN'S INTERESTING LIFE THAT COULD BECOME A GREAT SERIES OR FILM:.AFTER ALL HE WAS MARRIED 8 TIMES AND WITH 3 BEAUTIFUL HOLLYWOOD STARS.HE SERVED IN THE NAVY ENTERTAINIG OUR TROUPES IN THE PACIFIC IN WW II
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