[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.
>Don Ingle

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