Pearl Flapper presents a sampler of Artie Shaw's recordings made between January 1939 and January 1941 by Shaw's orchestra (sometimes augmented by a string section) and his magnificently hip Gramercy Five. Highlights include a swell rendering of W.C. Handy's "Chantez Les Bas," the famous "Frenesi," "I Surrender Dear," "One Night Stand" and the Gramercy Five masterworks "Summit Ridge Drive," "Special Delivery Stomp," "Dr. Livingstone, I Presume?" and "When the Quail Come Back to San Quentin." This compilation is presented as part of Pearl Flapper's Cream Series; the name implies that these are some of the very best recordings he made during this time period. And that's no exaggeration. Sound quality retains a certain amount of the original 78 rpm phonograph record surface noise, which some listeners may well value for its organic authenticity.
AllMusic Review by arwulf arwulf