Artie Shaw

Later Artie Shaw, Vol. 1

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Shaw's recordings of 1949-52 remain his rarest, last issued on this collector's LP series. Having largely given up the band business by mid-1946, the clarinetist came out of semiretirement in 1949 to lead his sixth and final regularly working orchestra, but that modern bop group was a quick flop and left few recordings. Volume 1 (out of seven) in the Later Artie Shaw series has a wide variety of recordings, including two with a studio orchestra, a pair of intriguing items in which the clarinetist fronts a quartet consisting of cello, piano, bass and drums, six titles with his short-lived orchestra and two with a new Gramercy Five (featuring vocalist Mary Ann McCall and trumpeter Don Fagerquist). Although Shaw's career had become directionless, his playing remained in its prime. This "lost" music deserves to be reissued on CD.