10/29/16

Artie Shaw and His Orchestra

Clarinetist and bandleader Artie Shaw's orchestra anno 1938–39 is often described as his best, and there are plenty of studio and live recordings from the time period to prove it. The two recordings featured here are from a radio broadcast on January 1, 1939, and were only ever captured on disc on this occasion. Tenor saxophonist Georgie Auld and drummer Buddy Rich, both from Bunny Berigan's orchestra, had just joined the band in the preceding month.

'Time Out' is introduced by the radio presenter as "an original composition", but it was written by Edgar Battle and Eddie Durham for the Count Basie orchestra in 1937. The arrangement by Artie Shaw is new though, both faster and more hard-swinging than Basie's version.

'Saving Myself for You' is also heated up quite a bit compared to previous recordings by, among others, Woody Herman, Benny Goodman, Ella Fitzgerald and Fletcher Henderson. Discarding the vocals, the band here turns the ballad into a swinging mid-tempo song. Note the playful change of styles at 1:25, where they suddenly sound just like Bob Crosby's orchestra!

Discographical data from The Jazz Discography by Tom Lord:

Artie Shaw and His Orchestra: Chuck Peterson, Bernie Privin, John Best (tp) George Arus, Harry Rodgers, Les Jenkins (tb) Artie Shaw (cl) Les Robinson, Hank Freeman (as) Tony Pastor, Georgie Auld (ts) Bob Kitsis (p) Al Avola (g) Sid Weiss (b) Buddy Rich (d)

Old Gold "Melody and Madness" radio show #7, New York, January 1, 1939
    Time Out (as arr)  
    (I've been) Saving Myself for You

LP source: Artie Shaw and His Orchestra – Melody and Madness Vol. II (Phontastic NOST 7613)





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