Personnel: Artie Shaw (clarinet); Artie Shaw; Tony Pastor (vocals, tenor saxophone); Tony Gottuso, Jimmy Shirley (guitar); Jerry Jerome, Dick Clark (tenor saxophone); Johnny Best (trumpet); Jack Jenney, Vernon Brown (trombone); Bob Kitsis (piano); George Wettling, Nick Fatool (drums); Hot Lips Page (vocals, trumpet); Helen Forrest, Lena Horne, Leo Watson, Billie Holiday (vocals); Al Hendrickson (guitar, electric guitar); Barney Kessel (guitar); Harry Bluestone (violin); Les Robinson (alto saxophone); Georgie Auld (tenor saxophone); Manny Klein, Henry "Red" Allen, Max Kaminsky, Roy Eldridge, Billy Butterfield (trumpet); George Arus, Ray Conniff (trombone); Johnny Guarnieri (piano, harpsichord); Dodo Marmarosa, Skitch Henderson, Les Burness (piano); Buddy Rich (drums).
Liner Note Author: Lloyd Rauch.
Recording information: Chicago, IL (12/23/1936-08/02/1953); Hollywood, CA (12/23/1936-08/02/1953); New York, NY (12/23/1936-08/02/1953).
Arrangers: Artie Shaw; Jerry Gray; Lennie Hayton; William Grant Still .
ESSENTIAL is an appropriate title for this double-disc collection of Artie Shaw's music. The temperamental, progressive bandleader and clarinetist was one of the top figures in swing, and his arrangements and recordings of classic songs (Cole Porter's "Begin the Beguine," for example) are definitive documents of the era. Shaw's own prowess as an instrumentalist, and his innovative techniques--his use of exotic melodies ("Frenesi") and orchestral strings ("Temptation"), for instance--further heighten his appeal. All of these qualities and more are represented on this comprehensive, superbly compiled set.