- Number of Discs: 2
- Released: August 24, 2004
- Originally Released: 2004
- Label: RCA
- 1.Begin The Beguine
- 2.Any Old Time
- 3.Back Bay Shuffle
- 5.Say It With A Kiss
- 6.Traffic Jam
- 8.The Man I Love
- 9.Summit Ridge Drive
- 11.Star Dust
- 12.The Man From Mars
- 14.Suite #8
- 16.Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen
- 17.Concerto For Clarinet Pts. 1 & 2
- 18.There'll Be Some Changes Made
- 19.The Grabtown Grapple
- 20.Everything Is Jumpin'
This release includes a bonus DVD featuring movie clips, live interview footage, an a short film entitled ARTIE'S CLASS IN SWING.
Personnel: Artie Shaw (clarinet); Helen Forrest, Billie Holiday (vocals); Georgie Auld (tenor saxophone); Hot Lips Page, Roy Eldridge, Billy Butterfield (trumpet); George Arus (trombone); Johnny Guarnieri (harpsichord); Buddy Rich (drums).
Liner Note Author: Dick Sudhalter.
After Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw was the premiere swing clarinetist, and his fine compositions, sweet tone, and mastery of the instrument's high register hold him in good stead against "the King of Swing." THE CENTENNIAL COLLECTION brings together 20 Shaw selections, eight of which are taken from late-1930s and early-'40s radio broadcasts. The broadcast recordings are preferable, as they are from live dates, with a looser, more immediate feel than the band was able to achieve in the studio. Shaw's wildly successful take on "Begin the Beguine" is a good example; it replicates the studio version melodically, but cooks with a smooth, intense energy.
Gems abound in treatments of traditional songs ("Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen"), jazz standards ("Summertime"), and Shaw's own material ("Nightmare"). There are some wonderful surprises tucked into the set, such as Billy Holiday's vocal on the Shaw-penned "Any Old Time," and two cuts featuring Shaw's smaller ensemble, the Gramercy 5. The leader's string-sweetened version of Hoagy Carmichael's "Star Dust"--superbly arranged, with a lilting, high-register solo from Shaw--is one of the definitive takes on the tune. A bonus DVD featuring an interview and motion-picture excerpts of Shaw's band puts the ribbon on this fine package.