[Dixielandjazz] The music of Artie Shaw this week in NYC.

Stephen G Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Thu May 27 06:25:41 PDT 2010

Here is an interesting review of a program of Artie Shaw's music.  
Still time to see it, and Jon Erik Kellso, in NYC.

BTW, who are the Anderson twins? They arrived on the scene when nobody  
was looking. <grin>

Steve Barbone

May 26, 2010 - NY TIMES - By Stephen Holden
‘Begin the Beguine’ and Other Delicacies From the Shaw Oeuvre

To commemorate the centennial of Artie Shaw, who would have turned 100  
on Sunday, two of his most ardent admirers, the Anderson Twins, are  
celebrating his music at 59E59 Theaters. Handsome, soft-spoken 23-year- 
old identical twins from Bethesda, Md., Pete and Will Anderson are  
virtuosos on both clarinet and saxophone. They lead a sextet that  
includes Jon-Erik Kellso on trumpet, Steve Ash on piano, Clovis  
Nicholas on bass and Kevin Dorn on drums. On Tuesday evening the group  
was joined by Daryl Sherman, the ebullient swing vocalist who briefly  
sang with Shaw’s band when he reconvened it in 1983.

For the appreciation of jazz, context matters almost as much as the  
quality of the playing. To hear Shaw’s music in a staid theatrical  
environment inescapably lent it a museumlike formality. The brothers  
made it a point to reproduce Shaw’s clarinet solos, including the  
accents, inflections and shifting timbres, although in numbers like  
“Frenesi,” which began with Pete Anderson strolling onto the stage  
playing the clarinet, the air of formality was momentarily interrupted.

But for the most part, the two-hour concert consisted of classic swing  
executed with great respect but little spontaneity and dynamism. You  
had the feeling of attending a classical chamber music concert at  
which the performers verbally supplied reverential annotation.

The show swung somewhat more freely in its second half, when the  
sextet played several of Shaw’s signature hits, including “Begin the  
Beguine” and “Star Dust.”

Its archival perspective was embodied by an overly polite performance  
of Shaw’s “Concerto for Clarinet,” which Will Anderson introduced as  
Shaw’s competitive response toBenny Goodman’s “Sing, Sing, Sing,”  
right down to having the piece end on a higher note.

Ms. Sherman helped loosen things up with her effervescent renditions  
of “Any Old Time,” which Billie Holiday sang with Shaw’s band, and the  
Artie Shaw-Johnny Mercerballad “Love of My Life,” from the 1940 movie  
“Second Chorus” in which Shaw co-starred with Fred Astaire.

In a revealing anecdote about Shaw’s notorious perfectionism, Ms.  
Sherman recalled his telling her after a performance that it was  
“divine,” and at first thinking he had paid her an undeserved  
compliment. She was right. It was criticism of her pronunciation of a  
word in a song: it should be “divine,” not “dee-vine,” he told her  

“The Anderson Twins Celebrate Artie Shaw at 100” continues through  
Sunday at 59E59 Theaters, 59 East 59th Street, Manhattan; (212)  
279-4200, 59e59.org.

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list