Self Portrait [Bluebird Anthology]

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Barnes & Noble - Steve Futterman
Artie Shaw has claimed that when it came to jazz clarinetists, Benny Goodman, his longtime rival, may have been the better player, but Shaw was a better musician. The distinction is important. For those who adore the sounds that emanate from Shaw’s horn, no one in jazz history has ever taken the “licorice stick” to the heights of expression and improvisatory perfection as the reluctant Swing Era superstar. Shaw, who gave up the clarinet at the zenith of his playing in the 1950s, handpicked the selections for Self Portrait, and he makes a strong case for himself as both a masterful player and an innovative bandleader. The set brilliantly charts Shaw’s art, hitting ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Futterman
Artie Shaw has claimed that when it came to jazz clarinetists, Benny Goodman, his longtime rival, may have been the better player, but Shaw was a better musician. The distinction is important. For those who adore the sounds that emanate from Shaw’s horn, no one in jazz history has ever taken the “licorice stick” to the heights of expression and improvisatory perfection as the reluctant Swing Era superstar. Shaw, who gave up the clarinet at the zenith of his playing in the 1950s, handpicked the selections for Self Portrait, and he makes a strong case for himself as both a masterful player and an innovative bandleader. The set brilliantly charts Shaw’s art, hitting upon all the great moments of his stardom during the 1930s and ‘40s, as well as important work from the 1950s. Superior hits are accounted for (“Begin the Beguine,” “Stardust,” “Frenesi”), as are many lesser-known but equally important performances representing both Shaw’s big bands and small groups. Shaw’s exceptional sidemen, and -women, are also given their due, including trumpeters Roy Eldridge and Hot Lips Page, pianists Hank Jones and Dodo Marmarosa, and vocalists Tony Pastor and Billie Holiday. And through it all, one hears Shaw’s liquid phrasing, flawless tonal control, and superior improvisational skills. Goodman or Shaw? If that isn’t an example of apples versus oranges, then what is?
All Music Guide - Alex Henderson
As a rule, record companies don't give artists the chance to pick the songs when a boxed set is assembled. They might ask the person who writes the liner notes to interview the artist, or they might even have the artist write the liner notes. But the label, not the artist, usually chooses the material. Self Portrait is an exception; when this five-CD, 95-track boxed set was assembled in 2001, a 91-year-old Artie Shaw was given a rare chance to make the selections himself and comment on them. And for those who are seriously into the clarinetist, it is fascinating to see what he chooses. Self Portrait, which spans 1936-1954, contains most of his essential swing, era hits, including "Stardust," "Begin the Beguine," "Frenesi," and his ominous signature tune, "Nightmare." But Self Portrait is far from a superficial greatest-hits package; Shaw digs a lot deeper, offering highlights of the many bands that he led and taking a comprehensive look at his career. Although Shaw often featured singers, they aren't a high priority on Self Portrait; however, the vocalists who he felt were worth including range from Pauline Byrne on "Gloomy Sunday" 1940 and Hot Lips Page on "Blues in the Night" 1941 to Billie Holiday on his pleasing, if overexposed, 1938 recording of "Any Old Time." The vast majority of the 95 tracks are swing, but some excellent small-group recordings from 1954 find Shaw exploring bebop and cool jazz -- and they indicate that if he had not retired from music, he would have had a bright future as a bebopper. Obviously, a five-CD set is too much for casual listeners, who would be better off with one of the many single-disc collections of Shaw's major hits. But for those who have more than a casual interest in his work, Self Portrait is a jazz feast.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/23/2001
  • Label: Rca
  • UPC: 090266380824
  • Catalog Number: 63808


Disc 1
  1. 1 Nightmare (2:50)
  2. 2 Cream Puff (2:54)
  3. 3 Streamline (2:25)
  4. 4 The Blues-A (2:52)
  5. 5 The Blues-B (2:59)
  6. 6 Shoot the Likker to Me, John Boy (2:49)
  7. 7 Free Wheeling (3:07)
  8. 8 Monsoon (3:08)
  9. 9 Begin the Beguine (3:14)
  10. 10 Any Old Time (3:11)
  11. 11 Yesterdays (3:18)
  12. 12 It Had to Be You (2:29)
  13. 13 Stardust (3:42)
  14. 14 Shine on Harvest Moon (2:29)
  15. 15 Back Bay Shuffle (3:38)
  16. 16 Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise (2:42)
  17. 17 Rosalie (2:43)
  18. 18 Traffic Jam (2:16)
  19. 19 Prosschai (Goodbye, Goodbye) (3:14)
  20. 20 Carioca (4:06)
  21. 21 Rose Room (2:44)
  22. 22 I Surrender, Dear (3:42)
  23. 23 Everything Is Jumpin' (5:07)
Disc 2
  1. 1 At Sundown (4:01)
  2. 2 Sweet Sue, Just You (3:34)
  3. 3 Man from Mars (3:41)
  4. 4 Diga Diga Doo (2:42)
  5. 5 Frenesi (3:03)
  6. 6 Gloomy Sunday (3:40)
  7. 7 Temptation (3:01)
  8. 8 Stardust (3:31)
  9. 9 Blues (3:16)
  10. 10 Blues, Pt. 1 (3:11)
  11. 11 Prelude in C Major (2:52)
  12. 12 Summit Ridge Drive - Artie Shaw & His Orchestra (3:21)
  13. 13 Dr. Livingstone, I Presume? - Artie Shaw & His Gramercy Five (3:22)
  14. 14 Concerto for Clarinet (9:15)
  15. 15 Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen (3:34)
  16. 16 Dancing in the Dark (3:03)
  17. 17 I Cover the Waterfront (3:30)
  18. 18 Nocturne (3:34)
  19. 19 Blues in the Night (3:13)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Is It Taboo? (3:19)
  2. 2 There'll Be Some Changes Made (4:19)
  3. 3 Take Your Shoes off Baby (And Start Runnin' Through My Mind) (3:26)
  4. 4 Just Kiddin' Around (3:21)
  5. 5 To a Broadway Rose (3:25)
  6. 6 Dusk (Evensong) (4:15)
  7. 7 Suite No. 8 (4:38)
  8. 8 Two in One Blues (3:31)
  9. 9 Lady Day (3:03)
  10. 10 's Wonderful (3:07)
  11. 11 Bedford Drive (3:18)
  12. 12 The Grabtown Grapple - Artie Shaw & His Gramercy Five (2:57)
  13. 13 The Sad Sack - Artie Shaw & His Gramercy Five (3:06)
  14. 14 Summertime (5:00)
  15. 15 Tabu (3:09)
  16. 16 Lucky Number (2:40)
  17. 17 The Man I Love (3:08)
  18. 18 The Hornet (3:05)
  19. 19 The Maid With the Flaccid Air (3:50)
  20. 20 The Glider (2:48)
Disc 4
  1. 1 Begin the Beguine (3:18)
  2. 2 My Heart Belongs to Daddy (3:04)
  3. 3 What Is This Thing Called Love? (2:59)
  4. 4 Get Out of Town (3:14)
  5. 5 Love for Sale (3:05)
  6. 6 Anniversary Song (2:10)
  7. 7 Smooth 'N Easy (3:20)
  8. 8 Stardust (3:36)
  9. 9 Aesop's Foibles (3:41)
  10. 10 I Get a Kick Out of You (3:27)
  11. 11 's Wonderful (3:02)
  12. 12 So Easy (3:24)
  13. 13 Krazy Kat (3:20)
  14. 14 Orinoco (2:40)
  15. 15 Fred's Delight (4:07)
  16. 16 Similau (3:28)
  17. 17 Afro-Cubana (3:47)
  18. 18 These Foolish Things (3:11)
  19. 19 I've Got a Crush on You - Artie Shaw & His Gramercy Five (3:53)
  20. 20 Someone to Watch Over Me - Artie Shaw & His Gramercy Five (4:48)
  21. 21 Autumn Leaves - Artie Shaw & His Gramercy Five (3:29)
Disc 5
  1. 1 Don't Take Your Love from Me - Artie Shaw & His Gramercy Five (5:28)
  2. 2 The Chaser - Artie Shaw & His Gramercy Five (8:40)
  3. 3 Stardust - Artie Shaw & His Gramercy Five (5:55)
  4. 4 Summit Ridge Drive - Artie Shaw & His Orchestra (6:07)
  5. 5 I Can't Get Started - Artie Shaw & His Gramercy Five (5:14)
  6. 6 Too Marvelous for Words - Artie Shaw & His Gramercy Five (5:46)
  7. 7 Yesturdays - Artie Shaw & His Gramercy Five (6:05)
  8. 8 Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered - Artie Shaw & His Gramercy Five (4:12)
  9. 9 S'posin' - Artie Shaw & His Gramercy Five (5:33)
  10. 10 My Funny Valentine - Artie Shaw & His Gramercy Five (5:30)
  11. 11 Dancing on the Ceiling - Artie Shaw & His Gramercy Five (7:12)
  12. 12 Scuttlebutt - Artie Shaw & His Gramercy Five (6:15)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Artie Shaw Primary Artist, Clarinet, Leader
Ray Conniff Trombone
Will Bradley Trombone
Roy Eldridge Trumpet
Hank Jones Piano
Max Kaminsky Trumpet
Barney Kessel Guitar
Jimmy Raney Guitar
Buddy Rich Drums
Charlie Spivak Trumpet
Mel Tormé Vocals
Trigger Alpert Bass
Billy Butterfield Trumpet
Lee Castle Trumpet
Johnny Guarnieri Piano
Jack Jenney Trombone
Al Klink Tenor Saxophone
Bernie Leighton Piano
Ray Linn Trumpet
Buddy Morrow Trombone
Tony Pastor Tenor Saxophone
Tommy Potter Bass
Joe Roland Vibes
George Wettling Drums
Don Lamond Drums
Bobby Sherwood Guitar
Mike Bryan Guitar
Si Zentner Trombone
Herbie Steward Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Al Cohn Tenor Saxophone
Bill Alexander Trombone
George Arus Trombone
Leonard Atkins Viola
Georgie Auld Tenor Saxophone
Al Avola Guitar
Danny Bank Baritone Saxophone
Robert Barene Violin
John Barrows French Horn
Bus Bassey Tenor Saxophone
Cy Bernard Cello
John Best Trumpet
Billie Holiday Vocals
Harry Bluestone Violin
Claude Bowen Trumpet
Vernon Brown Trombone
Les Burness Piano
John Cave French Horn
Paul Cohen Trumpet
Porky Cohen Trombone
Harold Coletta Viola
Keith Collins Viola
Charlie DiMaggio Alto Saxophone
Don Fagerquist Trumpet
Nick Fatool Drums
Stan Fishelson Trumpet
Mickey Folus Tenor Saxophone
Hank Freeman Alto Saxophone
David Frisina Violin
Lou Fromm Drums
Barry Galbraith Guitar
Harry Geller Trumpet
Bernie Glow Trumpet
Jerry Gray Violin
Allan Harshman Viola
Al Hendrickson Guitar
Skeets Herfurt Reeds
Max Hollander Violin
Clyde Hurley Trumpet
Gus Ischia Trombone
Jerry Jerome Tenor Saxophone
George Kast Violin
Bob Kitsis Piano
Manny Klein Trumpet
Irv Kluger Drums
George Koenig Alto Saxophone
Eugene Lamas Violin
Harry Lawson Reeds
Cliff Leeman Drums
Steve Lipkins Trumpet
Dan Lube Violin
Dodo Marmarosa Piano
Jack Mayhew Reeds
Ed McKinney Bass
Randall Miller Trombone
Romeo Penque Tenor Saxophone
Richard Perissi Oboe
Ronnie Perry Tenor Saxophone
Fred Petry Tenor Saxophone
Leonard Posner Violin
Lou Prisby Alto Saxophone
Jimmy Pupa Trumpet
Don Raffell Reeds
Samuel Rand Violin
Bill Rank Trombone
Morris Rayman Bass
Blake Reynolds Alto Saxophone
Les Robinson Alto Saxophone
Paul Robyn Viola
Harry Rodgers Trombone
Mischa Russell Violin
Sonny Russo Trombone
Tosha Samaroff Violin
Hymie Schertzer Alto Saxophone
George Schwartz Trumpet
Zoot Sims Tenor Saxophone
Lou Singer Drums
Frank Socolow Alto Saxophone
Eddie Sodero Cello
Marshall Sosson Violin
Jack Stacey Tenor Saxophone
David Sterkin Viola
Bob Swift Trombone
Julius Tannenbaum Cello
Rudy Tanza Alto Saxophone
Dave Tough Drums
Harry Urbont Violin
Ted Vesely Trombone
Jon Walton Tenor Saxophone
Leo Watson Vocals
Sid Weiss Bass
George Wendt Trumpet
Ollie Wilson Trombone
Stanley Wrightsman Piano
Milt Yaner Alto Saxophone
Jack Zayde Violin
Freddie Zito Trombone
Alex Beller Violin
Samuel Cytron Violin
Julius Brand Viola
Irving Lipschultz Cello
Felix Orlewitz Violin
Gordon Pope Flute
Tony Faso Trumpet
Carl Maus Drums
Nick Pisani Violin
Sam Rosenblum Viola
Olcott Vail Violin
Andrew Ferretti Trumpet
Jack Cathcart Trumpet
Peter Ellis Violin
Sam Freed Violin
Fred Goerner Cello
Morris King Violin
Mark McIntyre Piano
Dale McMickle Trumpet
Nicholas Ochi-Albi Cello
Maurice Perlmutter Viola
Chuck Peterson Trumpet
Martin Ruderman Flute
Jack Satterfield Trombone
Elmer Smithers Trombone
Stanley Spiegelman Viola
James Stagliano Trumpet
Artie Shaw & His Orchestra Track Performer
Joe Lipman Piano
Zeke Zarchy Trumpet
Dave Cracov Violin
Tony Gottuso Guitar
Joe Kretcher Bass Clarinet
Bob Morrow Violin
Don Paladino Trumpet
Manny Thaler Baritone Saxophone
Stan Kraft Violin
Mark Levant Violin
Tommy Mace Alto Saxophone
Dale Pierce Trumpet
Jules Rubin Tenor Saxophone
Bill Schumann Cello
Malcolm Crain Trumpet
Charlie Margulis Trumpet
Arthur Shapiro Bass
Ben Ginsberg Bass
Joe Howard Trombone
Sid Brokaw Violin
Jud de Naut Bass
Tom Dicarlo Trumpet
Harold Furmansky Viola
Jack Kirksmith French Horn
Phil Nemoli Oboe
Jules Seder Bassoon
Frank Sigfield Violin
Kathryn Tompson Harp
Truman Boardman Violin
Charles Coolidge Trombone
Allen Shulman Cello
Babe Bowman Trombone
Jerry Joyce Violin
Gil Barrios Piano
Bart Wallace Trumpet
Bill Brower Violin
Bart Varaslone Trombone
Vic Ford Trumpet
Bernie Tinterow Violin
Artie Shaw & His New Music Track Performer
Artie Shaw & His Gramercy Five Track Performer
Technical Credits
George Gershwin Composer
Sigmund Romberg Composer
William Grant Still Arranger
Ray Conniff Arranger, Composer
Tadd Dameron Arranger
Artie Shaw Arranger, Composer, Annotation
Frankie Trumbauer Composer
Nacio Herb Brown Composer
Sonny Burke Arranger
Bill Challis Arranger
Howard Dietz Composer
Dennis Ferrante Engineer
Arthur Freed Composer
Ira Gershwin Composer
Jerry Gray Arranger
Oscar Hammerstein II Composer
Lennie Hayton Arranger
Isham Jones Composer
Paul Jordan Arranger
Gus Kahn Composer
Irv Kluger Drum Arrangements
Johnny Mandel Arranger, Composer
Teddy McRae Arranger, Composer
Chauncey Morehouse Composer
Eddie Sauter Arranger
Arthur Schwartz Composer
Al Stillman Composer
Van Webster Engineer
Dick Sudhalter Liner Notes, Annotation
Art Hickman Composer
Paul Brizzi Engineer
Buster Harding Arranger, Composer
Alberto Dominguez Composer
Franklyn Marks Arranger
Gerald Marks Composer
Edgar Leslie Composer
Rezsö Seress Composer
Roger Segure Composer
John Bartee Arranger, Composer
Arden Clar Composer
Harry Coleman Composer
Albert de Bru Composer
Leonard Whitcup Composer
Jerry Sears Arranger
Harry Williams Composer
W. Benton Overstreet Composer
Billy Higgins Composer
John Carleton Composer
László Jávor Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Artie Shaw-The Greatest!

    I think the album is priceless.I would take exception with a few of Arties choices,but not many.For example,he omitted ''Octoroon'' and ''Confessin'',two of my favorites. ''Confessin'' in particular,which he did with Bennie Carter and J.C.Higginbotham,is simply outstanding.To me it rivals ''Maid With The Flaccid Air'', the Sauter arrangement, wherein Artie out-Dukes the Duke. I was a teenager learning the clarinet when Goodman and Shaw were in their heyday.I liked them both and in fact went out and bought,and still have and cherish by the way, the clarinet method books they endorsed in the early 40's.My own personal rating of the two giants went something like this:If I want to hear the ''Clarinet Polka'',I'll take Goodman,but if I want to hear lush,thoughtful and intelligent renditions of the standards such as Dancing in the Dark,Stardust,you name it,I'll take Shaw. As a clarinet student,I tried to emulate Shaw,without too much success,I might add.His work with the 1954 Gramercy Five group simply defies description,it's so good.As he himself put it,''there was no where else I could go with the clarinet'',and after listening to this stuff over and over again I'm thinking,maybe he was right.I'm glad I was around when he was.

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