[Dixielandjazz] Shaw & Goodman

Richard Broadie rbroadie at dc.rr.com
Sat Jan 1 15:23:05 PST 2005

In personal conversations with Shaw, Artie said his focus was on the 
gestalt - the whole being greater than the some of the parts. His focus, in 
other words, was on the final sound of the orchestra.  Shaw maintained that 
Goodman's focus was far more on the clarinet and the music he could produce 
on it.  To Shaw, BG's band was incidental as if to be the means that allowed 
BG to display his talents on clarinet.

Ellington  always claimed that his instrument was his orchestra and 
described himself as "the piano player" in a self-effacing manner.  While 
Shaw's comments were similar to Ellington, I would never describe Artie as 
being "self-effacing."

As to who was or wasn't a jerk, I would never wish either Shaw or Goodman to 
have been my best friend.  Same with Buddy Rich, Tommy Dorsey or Glenn 
Miller.  There were a lot of great band leaders who were not necessarily the 
nicest of people.  Perhaps, if they were nicer people, their bands wouldn't 
have been as successful.

Anyone want to discuss who the good and bad guys were from that era?  Might 
make an interesting thread.  Then again, what do I know.  Woody Herman used 
to be my financial advisor.

Dick Broadie

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Steve barbone" <barbonestreet at earthlink.net>
To: "DJML" <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Friday, December 31, 2004 1:57 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Shaw & Goodman

>I think perhaps some folks on the DJML quite misunderstand what Shaw was
> talking about when he said Goodman played Clarinet and he (Shaw) played
> music. No point getting hung up on the semantics of the word "play". No
> point in assuming that Shaw's comments were a cheap shot at Goodman's
> expense, when they were not. Shaw was merely pointing out how he and 
> Goodman
> viewed the clarinet. Perhaps the quote, a short one out of a broader
> context, was an error on my part. The entire two chapters on Shaw should 
> be
> read for a fuller understanding of the man, his music and his psyche. As
> should Shaw's autobiography be read.
> Simply stated, some folks view the axe primarily as a communication 
> device.
> E.G. Shaw or Pee Wee Russell. Their musical work speaks with all the 
> emotion
> of a expert communicator.
> Other folks do not view the axe as a communication device, but rather as 
> an
> instrument to be conquered or mastered. Their primary goal is to play it
> perfectly. E.G. Goodman, or Eddie Daniels. They play beautifully, but do
> not, to my ears at least, seem to have that emotion of a great 
> communicator.
> When listening to Shaw, and then Goodman the differences are apparent. 
> Same
> if one listens to Daniels and then DeFranco. DeFranco communicates with, 
> and
> Daniels masters, the instrument.
> Pee Wee Russell? A great communicator. Just ask Kenny Davern who is also 
> one
> of the great communicators on the axe as well as one who has pretty well
> mastered it.
> There are listeners who respond to one or the other approach for various
> reasons. You pay your money and you take your choice. Or you appreciate 
> both
> for what they do.
> Further examination of Sudhalter's Book will give the reader more insight 
> on
> these approaches to musicianship. Especially Davern's take on Pee Wee
> Russell in the chapter on Pee Wee, and more reading of the two chapters on
> Artie Shaw. (I cite the book so much only because I think many list mates
> have it)
> Bottom line? I plead with list mates not to draw large inferences from 
> short
> quotes (Shaw) that were obtained by an interviewer (Sudhalter), but rather
> to seek out the entire context.
> Cheers,
> Steve Barbone
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