[Dixielandjazz] Artie Shaw

john petters johnpetters at tiscali.co.uk
Fri Dec 31 01:55:37 PST 2004

Tom said
>Artie Who????   :))

My 86 year old mother in law loved him, and except for his hits that I have 
heard I really don't know much more about him than what I have read on this 
list, however my mother of 80 never heard of him and certainly never played
music in my growing up days.

Sometimes I think we musicians are just too close to the subject to see the 
Forrest for the trees.  Which no doubt holds many of us back form becoming
successful than we are.  We tend to live in a sheltered little world of OKOM

>whatever that may be and seldom venture beyond what we know and understand.

Interesting that Tom is not familiar with Artie Shaw's work, with the
exception of the hits. Certainly he was a major figure in jazz music, pre
be-bop. The Gramercy Fives with Billy Butterfield, Nick Fatool Johnny
Guanieri, etc were masterpieces of small group swing. 
I naturally always assumed that anyone interested in playing 'traditional'
jazz would have the type of enquiring mind to delve back into the roots,
which for me included the swing era. 

Driving to a gig with the late George Chisholm some years back, I was
surprised when he told me he was not familiar with the Louis Hot Fives or
the Oliver's or the Mortons. This was a man who became the most important
jazz trombonist in the 30s and 40s in the UK. He was limited by what was
available on 78 records in those days. He heard West End Blues, the Red
Nichols recordings, early Ellington, Bix etc. Makes me realise how lucky I
was in the late '60s to be able to find all of these sessions and more.
Luckier still are those around to day with cleaned up CDs of virtually
everything - so in theory we ought to produce a new generation of listening
musicians who can get deeper into the music than I could - if they take the

John Petters
Amateur Radio Station G3YPZ

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