Artie Shaw: Begin the Beguine


Begin the Beguine


Artie Shaw (clarinet)


Begin the Beguine (RCA Bluebird 6274)

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Artie Shaw (clarinet),

John Best, Claude Bowen, Chuck Peterson (trumpets), George Arus, Ted Vesely, Barry Rogers (trombones), Les Robinson, Hank Freeman (alto saxes), Tony Pastor, Ronnie Perry (tenor saxes), Les Burness (piano), Al Avola (guitar), Sid Weiss (bass), Cliff Leeman (drums)


Composed by Cole Porter. Arranged by Jerry Gray


Recorded: New York, July 24, 1938


Rating: 98/100 (learn more)

"I hate the music business," groused Artie Shaw. "Iím not interested in giving the public what they want." This from a man with eight million-selling singles in the 1930s and '40s. His first such hit, "Begin the Beguine," left him rich, famous and utterly disgusted with the "morons" who insisted he play it at every appearance. Count us among the morons. Cole Porter's song is enchanting. Jerry Gray's arrangement is beguiling. The band's execution is immaculate. Shaw's clarinet is unashamedly romantic. So what's to hate? Jazz's greatest ingrate preferred every cloud to its silver lining. Some guys just can't say thanks.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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