1940

by: Artie Shaw & His Orchestra

This CD starts out with the last three titles that Shaw cut on May 13, 1940, with a studio orchestra (including "April in Paris") and then moves on to his third big band, a magnificent string orchestra that included trumpeter Billy Butterfield, trombonist Jack Jenney, and pianist Johnny Guarnieri as key soloists. They perform one of the greatest versions ever of "Stardust," along with memorable renditions of "Temptation," Shaw's "Love of My Life," and the two-part "Blues." In addition, Artie Shaw's Gramercy Five (a sextet that included Butterfield with Guarnieri on celeste) is heard on four catchy numbers, highlighted by their hit record of "Summit Ridge Drive." There are many wonderful performances on this disc and Artie Shaw is heard in consistently inspired form. ~ Scott Yanow

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