Artie Shaw: Stardust
Artie Shaw (clarinet)
The Essential Artie Shaw (RVG Legacy Reissue 69239)
Jack Cathcart, George Wendt (trumpet); Vernon Brown, Jack Jenney (trombone); Les Robinson, Neely Plumb (alto sax); Bus Bassey, Jerry Jerome (tenor sax); Al Hendrickson (guitar), Jud DeNaut (bass), Nick Fatool (drums), and a 9-piece string section.
Composed by Hoagy Carmichael & Mitchell Parish. Arranged by Lennie Hayton & Artie Shaw.
Recorded: Hollywood, CA, October 7, 1940
Rating: 85/100 (learn more)
In Ken Burns's documentary Jazz (2001), Artie Shaw puts down erstwhile rival bandleader Glenn Miller as a mere "businessman." Talk about a pot defaming the kettle! Their only difference is that Miller was pleased to be commercial, whereas Shaw shamelessly posed as an aesthete caught in the vile clutches of industry. To illustrate, "Stardust" offsets standout solos from Butterfield, Shaw and Jenney with strings sawing away as contentedly as if just signed to a lifetime contract with Mantovani. By expressing contempt for show business, Shaw was like the cagey used-car dealer who will ever-so-reluctantly sell you the best buy on his lot but only if you swear on your mother's Blue Book not to tell anyone where you bought it.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz