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Christiern

Artie Shaw

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It's been decades since he began the beguine, but Artie Shaw is still around, and, at 93, feisty as ever. He just received the Smithson Bicentennial Medal, which prompted the LA Times to interview him.

It's an interesting interview, for example:

LA Times: "What's the difference between you and Benny Goodman?"

Shaw: "Well, I'm alive."

Edited by Christiern

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High up on my list of all-time favorites. When I finally got a turntable, my first buys were The Complete Artie Shaw Bluebirds lp's, and I've been playing them ever since. Just an exciting and soulfull musician. My he live many more years!

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His later, experimental recordings are well worth a listen. He was an outstanding musician.

I've never heard BG described as "cerebral" before. I've always found his playing to be full of feeling, and he was often given to growling through the horn in the best gut-bucket tradition. Benny will always be my favorite clarinet.

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I've never heard an interview with Artie Shaw that wasn't completely interesting. I've been impressed with his music and his intellect for a long time.

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but I've been snapping up the Heps of late; they provide a more complete picture of some of my favorite Shaw groups, including the 1941-42 big band with strings and the 1944-45 big band. And the 3-CD Hindsight box of live 1938 recordings is incredible--what I wouldn't give to have seen that band!

Glad to hear the recommendations--I've been eyeing these for a while and maybe it's time to pull the trigger. ANy of the Hep volumes in particular that would be a good starting place, in terms of selection, sound etc?

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:D

And there is more:

"Story in the Los Angeles Times today reports on Artie Shaw, 93, being honored

in Westlake Village as he was presented with the James Smithson Bicentennial

Medal for his contributions to music.

This time he was presenting two of his clarinets, which have remained dormant and unplayed since 1954, to the Smithsonian in Washington. Artie's hearing and eyesight have been deteriorating lately and he is wheelchair bound, but his mind is still active as well as his aversion to stupid questions from the press.

Q: "What's so special about this clarinet you're donating?"

A: "It's not the clarinet. It's me."

Q: "Why did you switch from alto sax to clarinet?"

A: "I was playing and recoridng in studios around New York - we had to run

from program to program - and I was always having to run around with my sax,

and, well, the clarinet weighs less."

When asked why he left the U.S. in 1954: "I could no longer stand the

fulminating of McCarthy, so I went to Spain. Five years later, someone told me 'It's

better now,' so I came home, and the first thing I heard was Lawrence Welk on

TV."

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The man hired Billie Holiday back in 1938, married Ava Gardner, had Roy Eldridge, Dodo Marmarosa, Buddy de Franco

and Barney Kessel together in his band and was a superb clarinet player. He deserves all the honors he is getting.

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His later, experimental recordings are well worth a listen. He was an outstanding musician.

These, I assume, are the experimental sessions to which you refer?

Well worth picking up if you can find them!

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GOM,

Thanks for the information. 20.00 is a great price for that set...I've periodically been looking for it used for some time now, with no luck.

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GOM,

Thanks for the information. 20.00 is a great price for that set...I've periodically been looking for it used for some time now, with no luck.

I've seen it "used" around here off and on. I'll keep an eye out for them for ya.

That Begin the Beguine set on Bluebird is sublime. And the liner notes are pretty good, too. ;)

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So far I've only heard little excerpts from those last "experimental" sessions on the SELF-PORTRAIT box, but wow are they intriguing! The roots of Jimmy Giuffre's "free" period music, anyone?

Anyway, have yet to hear anything by Shaw I haven't enjoyed, although quite honestly I am a bit tired of hearing people praise him by dissing Goodman...OK, he didn't like Benny's playing much, but that doesn't mean we ALL have to agree. I personally can't imagine a jazz history without either man.

Edited by DrJ

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Ray Charles claims to have been a huge Shaw fan in his youth. Says he felt Shaw's soul. And yeah, he makes the Goodman comparison too.

What that has to do with anything I don't know, but I think it's a neat piece of trivia.

Interesting, also, is that in the next generation, the Goodman/Shaw "debate" lived on in the DeFranco/Scott "debate", and with identical premises. The more things change...

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Count me in with the fans of Artie Shaw. :tup

Begin the Beguine was one of my first purchases as I started my journey in jazz.

"Nightmare" still blows me away.

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