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Album Review

In 1949 the swing era was already in the past and the public's enthusiasm for bebop was quickly receding. No matter, Artie Shaw decided that it was time to put together a modern big band. The venture only lasted three months, but the largely forgotten music that it performed was quite rewarding. This Music Masters CD consists of private recordings of the barely documented orchestra, valuable performances that feature the always-modern clarinetist with an outfit that included trumpeter Don Fagerquist, a great saxophone section with the tenors of Al Cohn and Zoot Sims, and guitarist Jimmy Raney. It is a real pleasure to hear Artie Shaw stretching out in this setting, and a real pity that this band could not have lasted.


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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1949, Artie Shaw
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