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Concerto for Clarinet

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Album Review

This unannotated 21-track compilation selects recordings originally released on Brunswick, Bluebird, and Victor, from the start of Artie Shaw's big band in 1936 to 1942, when he disbanded it to join the service. Anything but a hits collection, it contains only a few Top Ten tracks ("Traffic Jam," "Summit Ridge Drive," and the title tune) and has a heavy complement of recordings from Shaw's unsuccessful first band. But despite the seeming randomness of the selection and sequencing, there are many outstanding performances, if only because Shaw's bands, despite his tendency to break them up, maintained a high level of proficiency, and the leader was always technically brilliant.


Born: 23 May 1910 in New Haven, CT

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s

One of jazz's finest clarinetists, Artie Shaw never seemed fully satisfied with his musical life, constantly breaking up successful bands and running away from success. While Count Basie and Duke Ellington were satisfied to lead just one orchestra during the swing era, and Benny Goodman (due to illness) had two, Shaw led five, all of them distinctive and memorable. After growing up in New Haven, CT, and playing clarinet and alto locally, Shaw spent part of 1925 with Johnny Cavallaro's dance band...
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Concerto for Clarinet, Artie Shaw
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