Artie Shaw: Frenesi
Artie Shaw (clarinet)
The Essential Artie Shaw (RVG Legacy Reissue 69239)
Artie Shaw (clarinet),
Mannie Klein, Charlie Margulis, George Thow (trumpet); Babe Bowman, Randall Miller, Bill Rank (trombone); John Cave (French horn), Mort Ruderman (flute), Phil Nemoli (oboe), Joe Krechter (bass clarinet), Blake Reynolds, Bud Carlton (alto sax); Jack Stacey, Dick Clark (tenor sax); Stan Wrightsman (piano), Bobby Sherwood (guitar), Jud DeNaut (bass), Carl Maus (drums), and a 13-piece string section,.
Recorded: Hollywood, CA, March 3, 1940
Rating: 84/100 (learn more)
After one of his intermittent, annoyingly short-lived retirements, Garboesque bandleader Artie Shaw returned from a Mexican vacaciones frenéticas to record "Frenesi" (Spanish for frenzy). It's a lovely tune, attractively arranged and well performed, but it makes us wonder just where in Mexico Señor Shaw ensconced. With flute, oboe, French horn and strings, "Frenesi" sounds more palacio presidencial than barrio cantina. Artie's concept of local color seems mighty elitist for an immigrant dressmakers' son born on Manhattan's Lower East Side who professed to hate the trappings of celebrity. "Frenesi" is fine for ballroom dancing, but it's cornier than a maize tortilla.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz