Artie Shaw reached the pinnacle of stardom in 1939, becoming a celebrity and having his band rated at the top of the swing world, at least in popularity. But Shaw did not enjoy the experience much, was under constant pressure, and in late November he left the bandstand and fled to Mexico. His band (which struggled on briefly under Georgie Auld's leadership) broke up a few months later. Running out of money, on March 3, 1940, Shaw gathered together a large studio orchestra (with a full string orchestra) and recorded six songs, including one ("Frenesi") that became a giant hit. This CD concludes with part of a second date (from May 13) with a different studio band. It would be a few months before Artie Shaw formed his third orchestra. Despite the turmoil, there are fine performances to be heard on this intriguing disc, the seventh Shaw CD put out by Classics.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow