Artie Shaw, saxophonist, clarinetist, bandleader
Bandleader ~ Saxophonist ~ Clarinetist
birth name: Arthur Jacob Arshawsky

Artie Shaw

May 23, 1910, New Haven, CT ~ December 30, 2004, Newbury Park, CA

In the years leading up to America's entry into World War II in December 1941, much of the world was already at war or on the brink. These mounting tensions weren't lost on American anxieties, which had already been stretched thin by World War I and a grueling Depression. Despite a series of Neutrality Acts passed by Congress in the 1930s, the national pulse was racing in anticipation of the inevitable. Nazi Germany occupied the Rhineland in 1937 and invaded Austria in 1938. Fascist Italy was tearing around Africa. And Japan was at war in China. Growing fear over global events that America couldn't stop or control was the Swing Era's backdrop. With rising nationalism and militarization in the 1930s as well as rising ethnic hatred in Europe and Asia, the music here grew both hot and sweet. Among the bands that neatly reflected the uncertainty and quest for calm was Artie Shaw's Rhythm Makers. The band recorded between March 1937 and February 1938 and is perhaps Shaw's finest orchestra. ~ Jazzwax: Artie Shaw ~ January 25, 2013 © Jazzwax

Discontented jazz clarinetist with a genius for putting sounds together, whose classy and classic bands helped define the age of swing. ~ The Guardian: Artie Shaw Obituary ~ January 1, 2005 © The Guardian

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One of jazz's finest clarinetists, Artie Shaw never seemed fully satisfied with his musical life, constantly breaking up successful bands and running away from success. While Count Basie and Duke Ellington were satisfied to lead just one orchestra during the swing era, and Benny Goodman (due to illness) had two, Shaw led five, all of them distinctive and memorable. ~ Allmusic: Artie Shaw ~ retrieved May 23, 2016 © Allmusic

Artie Shaw was the last of the big bandleaders of the Swing Era. We think of them as musicians now, and a few of them - very few, according to Shaw - were great artists. But for anyone under a certain age it's hard to comprehend the scale of their celebrity - instrumentalists in tuxes fronting orchestras, and yet they were as big as the biggest movie stars. Imagine Britney if she could play a clarinet. Brilliantly. ~ The Atlantic: Ex-Husband Of Love Goddesses ~ March 2005 © The Atlantic

Artie Shaw ~ Awarded a 2005 NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) Jazz Masters Fellowship.

The Artie Shaw Orchestra ~ Begin The Beguine (Porter) ~ Ranked #91 RIAA Top 365 Songs Of The Century in 2001.

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