[Dixielandjazz] Re: Jazz & Strings - Shaw

Bill Haesler bhaesler at bigpond.net.au
Sun Jan 2 18:51:59 PST 2005

Dear Steve,
I am glad you raised the subject of the Arthur Shaw Swing String Ensemble
and "Prelude in Bb" at that 24 May 1936 Swing Concert.
There is a studio recording of the group (Artie Shaw, cl; Carl Kress, g;
Harry Bluestone, Emanuel 'Manny' Green, vn; Isadore Zir, viola, unknown, sb;
Art Stein, d.) made just before or after the event, and not at the concert
as is commonly believed. The side was issued on a boxed LP set (Book Of
Month Club 71-7715) LP Artie's agreement. It is also on LP - Aircheck 1 and
Joyce 1148. I do not have these.
Does anyone know if it has surfaced on CD yet?
If so, I would like details.
I have been told that Artie Shaw recorded the "Prelude In Bb" for Brunswick
(23 Dec 1936), with strings, under the title "Streamline". I have this, but
have not seen the comment verified.
While on the Artie Shaw subject.
As you may know, Artie Shaw and His Navy Band 501 visited Australia and New
Zealand in 1943 (as part of a (very) traumatic tour of  active duty in the
Pacific war zone) and played in several ballroom locations for US servicemen
In Sydney and Melbourne, a few local Oz servicemen/musicians managed to
gate-crash the events. And still talk in awe about it!
Unfortunately there are no recordings of this Shaw Navy band except for one
undistinguished, could-be-any-band, version of "White Christmas" made in NZ
with a local girl singer and two titles, "Nightmare" and "Begin the
Beguine", taken from an 'America Salutes the President' broadcast in
Honolulu on January 30, 1943 for President Roosevelt's birthday.
These two sides are reported to have been issued on BBG 092 - whatever that
The session, but not the disc, is mentioned in the book, "Artie Shaw:
Musical Biography and Discography" by Vladimir Simosko.
Can anyone please identify the LP or CD - BBG 092?
Album title, format, anything.
Kind regards,
PS: While in Melbourne with the Shaw band Max Kaminsky recorded 4 sides
privately on 19 Sept 1943 with some, now well-known, Australian jazzmen.
These have been issued on 78 and CD.
Dave Tough was invited to the session but, apparently, spent all his
non-playing hours in bed, shattered by the experience of being under attack
by Japanese Kamikaze planes.
It was no picnic for Shaw's Navy band it seems.
PPS: Chris Albertson, in his notes to Bluebird CD 6274, 'Begin The Beguine'
Artie Shaw and His Orchestra, claims that the above 24 May 1936 'Swing Music
Concert' at the Imperial Theater [theatre] was the first real jazz concert.
Certainly it is said to have included Bob Crosby's Orch, the Casa Loma Orch
and small units from the Paul Whiteman, Louis Armstrong and Tommy Dorsey
But, the first 'real jazz' concert?


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