Artie Shaw

Planet Jazz

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This CD is part of RCA's 1996 Introduction to Jazz series which mostly features swing era recordings. Greatest Hits collects 14 recordings by clarinetist Artie Shaw with his second, third and fourth big bands. His "greatest hits" ("Begin the Beguine," "Frenesi" and the finest version ever of "Stardust") are here, along with some lesser-known tracks and vocals by Helen Forrest and Billie Holiday. Surprisingly, Shaw's Gramercy Five (which had a million seller in "Summit Ridge Drive") is absent and not even mentioned in the breezy liner notes; there is also no personnel listing for the orchestra, and the music is programmed somewhat randomly. There are more definitive Artie Shaw sets easily available, but this CD is OK for beginners if found at a budget price, but there are more definitive Artie Shaw sets easily available.

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