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Classic Artie Shaw Bluebird And Victor Sessions (#244)Mosaic Records Limited Edition Box Set
When Franklin Cohen, the principal clarinetist of the Cleveland Orchestra, was to be featured playing Mr. Shaw's Concerto for Clarinet, he listened to Mr. Shaw's recording of the work and said he found his playing unbelievable.
"Shaw is the greatest player I ever heard," he said. "It's hard to play the way he plays. He makes so many incredible shadings."
This set is Running Low
Limited Edition: 5000 copies
7 CDs - $119.00
They Are Landmarks In Jazz
When band leader Artie Shaw put down his clarinet in 1954 - vowing never to play again - he made a "forever" decision most of us could never contemplate. He had been the #1 bandleader in the world. He had recorded countless tunes that were considered then, and will be thought of always, as classics. Along with one or two other names, none ranked higher as an innovator on his instrument. Add to that his matinee idol, dashing good looks that made him admired across the globe. Give all that up?
Yet, before he did, Shaw created a body of work that few artists will ever achieve. And the best of that music is finally available in a massive Mosaic volume. This limited edition collection presents all the recordings that focused on instrumentals by his big band, the Gramercy 5 and representative vocal performances by Tony Pastor, Billie Holiday, Hot Lips Page and Lena Horne.
Read any evaluation of Shaw's work, and so often a song title will be followed by the phrase "which became a classic." Those classics are all here. From early recordings as a bandleader, which almost instantaneously established him as a star, to his underappreciated post-War recordings, Mosaic's collection presents all his most famous performances, and many previously-unheard alternates.
f you are unfamiliar with Shaw's work, prepare to be surprised. While so many other lauded artists of the swing era sound land-locked by the idiom, Shaw's music remains eminently listenable to modern ears.
Artie Shaw Like You've Never Heard - Superior Audio Restoration
Artie Shaw's tone soared ethereally, and his song sense bordered on perfection. Witness Shaw's half-chorus in his 1940 recording of "Stardust." The entire recording, from top to bottom, is like something from another world. Billy Butterfield's trumpet lead-in couldn't be more gorgeously bell-like, and trombonist Jack Jenney finishes Shaw's chorus on some kind of cloud. There isn't one note out of place, and you'd be hard pressed to find a more perfect recording.
Barney Bigard, a staple of the Ellington band from 1927-1942 stated that Shaw made "…the clarinet sound unusually beautiful in the upper register. The guy could execute like mad…(and) I like Artie for the things that were almost impossible to do on the clarinet." His solo efforts were clean, clear and soaring with a strong and polished attack that was full of melodic invention. A weaving of ideas that perfectly connected one thought to another.
Our set includes over 150 tracks on 7 CDs, and presents for the first time anywhere 12 unissued performances. To offer the finest sound possible, we've located the original metal parts and pristine vinyl test pressings from the Victor and Bluebird vault. Our lavish booklet includes an appreciation and session analysis by John McDonough and features many rare photographs of Shaw and his bandmates. Don't miss out on owning this important collection.
Read More About Artie Shaw:
Track Listing, Personnel & Recording Dates »
- Audio Quality
- Sample Session Notes
A real treat is working with original metal parts and test pressings from the Victor vaults. Throughout the years, these sources have been kept in impeccable condition and there usually are at least a half dozen to choose from. Because of this we were able to locate all the original masters and alternates in pristine sound via these metal parts and vinyl test pressings. Only one track was used from a commercially issued 78. Our engineer for the entire project, Andreas Meyer, has brought out Shaw and all his fabulous orchestras in the best sound we’ve ever heard.
Photo Copyright © Protected
The bulk of our images have come from the Institute of Jazz Studies as well as Frank Driggs some of which show Shaw and the band in the Victor studios. There are also some rare unpublished photos from Shaw devotee and collector Reinhard Scheer-Hennings. All these photos include great scenes of Shaw’s Navy band, his first great band with images of Buddy Rich and Georgie Auld and the later bands with Hot Lips Page, Davey Tough and Roy Eldridge.
September 27, 1938 Session
One of the more interesting templates of Shaw’s inner voice was his theme, “Nightmare”, a minor blues played in the manner of a funeral dirge. Something of a film noir acid trip, it’s full of lurid menace and stalking shadows. Yet, it’s also the perfect card to play when asked to illustrate what made Shaw different from Goodman on the clarinet. Shaw’s emotional power was in his sound, which is laid bare here in long, lingering swaths of sound – dark and brooding at the bottom, brittle and dense at the top, where he ruled with a piercing but never shrill precision. For Goodman, the high note was essentially a cathartic one-shot target. Shaw turned them into narratives. He never growled or smoldered. His lines were imperial and statuesque. His vibrato was always cool and hard, the perfect voice for his tart little clusters and often eccentric flourishes. His other composition, “Non-Stop Llight”, reveals a brighter, more sunny side, but similar factors control his playing, even at bright tempos. The long and serpentine paths of his lines are to some extent a calculated illusion. He had a way of seeming to duck out of sight and then reemerge, implying that the notes continued even when they couldn’t be heard, like a short wave radio signal that fades for second and then comes back even as the words continued. – John McDonough
CUSTOMER REVIEWSClick here to write a review
"First of all thanks to Mosaic for even taking the time to release this vintage material. From the Lester Young/Basie set, to Chu Berry, to the recent Armstrong release, to Benny Goodman's Columbia work, and now Artie Shaw, Mosaic is doing a great service to those of us who enjoy genuine Swing Era jazz releases. I totally agree with the reviewer who gave accolades to Mr. McDonough for the outstanding writing of the Shaw booklet. I found myself devouring it."
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