Artie Shaw kept his third jazz orchestra (his Stardust band) together into early 1941 before he decided to break it up. Included on this CD are the big band's last recordings (including "Prelude in C Major," "Dancing in the Dark," and the exciting two-part "Concerto for Clarinet") plus the second session by Shaw's Gramercy Five, featuring trumpeter Billy Butterfield and Johnny Guarnieri on harpsichord. Concluding this CD are four songs with a studio orchestra and four others with a very interesting interracial group that includes trumpeter Henry "Red" Allen, trombonist J.C. Higginbotham, altoist Benny Carter, Lena Horne (taking two vocals), and a string section. There are lots of stimulating and surprising performances heard throughout this pleasing program by the great clarinetist.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow