[Dixielandjazz] Artie Shaw
David W. Littlefield
dwlit at cpcug.org
Sat Jan 1 08:01:33 PST 2005
Shaw fans should know about the following:
"Artie Shaw: Musical Biography and Discography" by Vladimir Simosko,
Scarecrow Press, Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies. 2000. 279pp, of which
141pp are the bio. It's a large format book, with loads of photos.
I enjoy both Shaw and Goodman, and because their concepts/styles are
different, they fit different moods. Viewing them from the perspective of
making fake book sheets of their best known tunes, I always have the urge
to transcribe Shaw, virtually never Goodman--my only Goodman transcription
is his solo on "Deep Harlem". That's got to be due to the nature of their
respective solos...Shaw can be transcribed and memorized, but Goodman??
At 03:00 PM 12/31/2004 -0500, dingle wrote:
>Charles Suhor wrote:
>> Add my hurrahs to all that's been said about Shaw, especially the
>> unique Gramercy Five sides, with great use of the harpsichord,
>> wonderful originals, and splendid Shaw solos. The big band stuff, even
>> most of the non-classic and non-hit records, were also very special.
>> How about "Gloomy Sunday" and "Take Your Shoes Off, Baby?" and...etc.
>> ...The Shaw records (and his dashing good looks) were what
>> inspired my brother Don to take up clarinet. He bought stacks of
>> Goodman and Shaw records but he always preferred Shaw. Don was 14 in
>> 1947 when Benny Goodman gave him a trophy as the best young
>> clarinetist in N.O. He was just learning how to jam, so ironically, he
>> won by playing two Shaw solos he had memorized to perfection--"Taboo"
>> and something else. Don Lasday was the runner up. Pete Fountain didn't
>> make the finals! ...
>> When Shaw said that Benny "wanted to be an instrumentalist -- he was a
>> superb technician -- while I wanted to be a musician. I think my mind
>> was more complex than his,'' I think he short-changed Goodman's
>> joyfully fluent improvisation (especially on the small-group sides)
>> but he was right on with the "complex mind" remark. Don used to say
>> that Shaw didn't just jam his solos, he sculpted them. He swung, but
>> his lines seemed so well thought out, even on the romping Gramercy
>> Five sides.
>> Some of the obits stressed Shaw's love life, interesting but a bit of
>> a distraction from his contributions to music.The Sudhalter chapters
>> in "Lost Chords" are a good tribute.
>> Charlie Suhor
>I have to admit that the best, and hottest of Benny's sides were made
>before he had perfected his double lip embouchure and more classical
>tone style. I refer to the wondrous sides made with Red Nichols' larger
>band in about 1930. In especial I point to his roaring, soaring, hotter
>than hades chorus on China Boy. It was fiall re and the sizzling energy
>of a young man reaching for perefection and grabbing hold for the
>ride. Sure, the tone was rough, almost grunty and buzzy, but the fire
>was there and it remains, to me, the hottest solo he ever achieved. One
>man's opinion but it has not changed since the 1940', heard when the
>sides were reissued - a rarity for that time when many good jazz sides
>gathered dust and criminal neglect in the vaults of many recording
>compaines. (Some still do!)
>I , too, admired Shaw, but he was never, in all I ever heard, as hot and
>on fire as that young Goodman, barely in his 20's when he fired a solo
>shot heard round the (jazz) world.
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