Artie Shaw

Pied Piper

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In 1949 Shaw put together what would be his last regularly working orchestra, a modern outfit featuring such younger players as trumpeter Don Fagerquist, the tenors of Al Cohn and Zoot Sims, pianist Dodo Marmarosa and guitarist Jimmy Raney. Striking a balance between his earlier swing hits and the new bop music, Artie Shaw's new orchestra had a great deal of potential and seemed like a perfect outlet for his always-modern playing. But it stood little chance in 1949 when the big-band era was gone and his older fans wanted Shaw to put on a nostalgic show. The orchestra flopped commercially. This LP of live performances shows that the music of his last big band was excellent, swinging and well worth remembering.