Clarinetist and bandleader Artie Shaw led one of the most elegant dance bands of the swing era; it was a group whose arrangements were intensely formal, while simultaneously concentrating on solid groove. His volume in Sony's Masterworks Jazz series reveals this in spades. From the opening reading of "Begin the Beguine," with its strutting guitar comping, his shimmering clarinet solo, and the brass strolling along the bassline, through uptempo banger's like "Traffic Jam," the slippery sentimentality of "All the Things You Are," and the colorful, easy shuffle in "The Man I Love," Shaw and his group knew how to put dancers out on the ballroom floor and keep them there. This budget comp collects ten of the group's best-known recordings, providing a solid, swinging introduction to a singular artist.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek