Artie Shaw's Last Dance Band - JazzWax

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March 25, 2009


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Michael Steinman

From what I've learned, the bright, clear sound on these CDs is the result of a good deal of painstaking work by one of the best engineers and sound restorers -- Doug Pomeroy of Brooklyn, just the man you want to record your band live OR to rescue those apparently-unplayable acetates. Without Doug, those discs would have sounded far less compelling. Cheers, Michael

David Brent Johnson

Great writeup as always, Marc. I got this Hep set just a couple of weeks ago and have spun it several times already--in addition to your citations above, I also dig Imogene Lynn's vocals. There was a single Storyville disc of this material, but the Hep easily supplants it.

Fernando Ortiz de Urbina

Thanks for posting this, Marc. Robertson is an unsung hero and his catalogue an absolute must for fans of 1940s jazz.

John Cooper

The '45 band is a great band. Lots of standards and very few 'pop hit' tunes. Yet so many of the sides have a lonely, forlorn sound to them as if the music knows it is coming to an end.

The Shaw Musicrafts have never moved me and his later Decca big band sides range from excellent easy-listening music and dreadfully over-arranged, almost bombastic tracks. And the novelties - not good.

1939 and 1945 - the two GREAT Artie Shaw bands!

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of 55 More Songs," "Anatomy of a Song," "Rock Concert: An Oral History" and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax has won three Jazz Journalists Association awards.
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