2. Besame Mucho
3. My Funny Valentine
4. Too Marvellous for Words
5. I Can’t Get Started
6. The Sad Sack
7. Dancing on the Ceiling
8. Someone to Watch Over Me
10. The Chaser
1. Pied Piper Theme
2. Love of My life
3. Rough Ridin’
6. Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
10. When the Quail Come Back to San Quentin
Artie Shaw – Clarinet
Hank Jones – Piano
Tal Farlow, Joe Puma – Guitars
Tommy Potter – Bass
Joe Roland – Vibes
Irv Kluger – Drums
It is amazing that these marvellous performances have remained on a shelf
since 1954 when they were made. They leave me in no doubt that Artie
Shaw retired from playing when he was at the height of his ability.
Artie himself claims that he was just fed up with always having to
play the same tunes to satisfy the public, but I suspect that being
the complete deal on clarinet left him with nowhere to go.
These two CDs go to prove just what a wonderful musician he was. His technique
on the clarinet may have been equalled since that time, but never
bettered. Both records have the superb Hank Jones on piano, certainly
one of the very best that the jazz world has produced and he is still
working! He plays with both bands, as do Irv Kluger and Tommy Potter.
The second set of recordings does not have a vibes player, and Joe
Puma replaces Tal Farlow.
Artie Shaw’s tone on his instrument is perfection and his command of the
difficult high register is nothing short of miraculous, the tone even
throughout. This is coupled with a seemingly endless flow of ideas,
which make these tracks so attractive to the listener. Both guitarists
blend into the group splendidly as does vibes player Joe Roland. The
tunes are mostly the great standards with a few originals thrown in
for good measure. The playing throughout is nicely accessible for
any listener and the arrangements, which were probably mostly "head"
arrangements, neat and well executed.
The sleeve notes are most interesting because they are based on a conversation
between Artie and Dan Morgenstern who compiled them. Artie appears
to have fully cooperated with the publication of these records after
they had lain on his office shelf for over 40 years. So it is obvious
that, whilst he no longer wants to play the clarinet any more, he
still cares sufficiently about his music to present it in the best
There are eight Shaw originals on these two CDs and each one is a great
jazz vehicle: quite something for a man who was never feted for his
compositions. His playing on the I Got Rhythm-inspired The
Chaser is the work of a musical giant, which of course he was!
Congratulations to Nimbus records for bringing this very satisfying music
to our turntables. It is a shame we had to wait so long to hear it!