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The Centennial Collection (Remastered)

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Album Review

This volume in RCA Bluebird's Centennial Collection series (whereby the label offers a single-disc CD compilation of classic tracks and a bonus DVD of rare clips from television, documentary, and film footage) focuses on Artie Shaw's late-'30s through mid-'40s period with the Victor and Bluebird labels. Eight of the tunes here originated with radio broadcasts. The 20 audio tracks commence with Shaw's biggest hit, "Begin the Beguine," featuring Georgie Auld, Tony Pastor, and George Wettling. "Grabtown Grapple" features a killer, if brief, solo by Roy Eldridge, and Oran "Hot Lips" Page is showcased on "Evensong" and "Suite No. Eight." The sound here is wonderful throughout. The DVD showcases the Shaw band as widely portrayed in Hollywood movies from the era. There are clips here from Class in Swing, Second Chorus, and an interview with Shaw from 2001 about its Self Portrait box set issue. This is an excellent package and will be a nice addition to any Shaw shelf.

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Born: May 23, 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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The Centennial Collection (Remastered), Artie Shaw
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