[Dixielandjazz] Re:Jazz & Strings - Shaw

Bill Haesler bhaesler at bigpond.net.au
Tue Jan 4 13:12:47 PST 2005

Dear Steve and Al,
Yes indeed.
That 1949-1950 band did record.
A radio transcription set for Thesaurus and some sessions for Decca.
(I have full details, but hope not to have to type them out.)
Both lots recorded in Dec 1949 and January 1950 over several days, for each
Both companies included sides by a Gramercy Five contingent from the big
Most titles were issued on LP, but not all are on CD, that I can find.
A quick Worlds Records search shows that some of the stuff is on Classics CD
1368 and a lot of it is on Jasmine 2595.
This is from the Jasmine blub:
ŒIn 1949, Artie Shaw, undoubtedly the most intellectual of the big names
from the swing era, assembled a new band staffed by some of the talent then
emerging from the second wave of modern jazz, saxophonists Al Cohn and Zoot
Sims, plus pianist Dodo Marmarosa. Financially the orchestra was a flop, but
musically it was an intriguing outfit, as can be heard on this collection.
On some cuts, a new Gramercy Five (Shaw's band-within-a-band) additionally
showcases both the leader's still developing clarinet style and the be-bop
trumpet of the underrated Don Fagerquist.¹

As you can imagine, being a one-eyed mouldy fygge, none of this later Shaw
is in my collection.
Nor ever likely to be. Which does not stop me from appreciating it musically
for what it is.
Must dash.
Off to a New Years lunch with about 50 or 60 old (some very) Sydney
professional musicians.
A Œcouple¹ of beers and a chat for a couple of hours.
Kind regards,
PS: I must have been too eager. This was meant to be posted yesterday. I
apparently did not press the right button.
Yes, it was a very successful lunch.

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