Album review

Artie Shaw - Self Portrait

Celebrity lothario and clarinet virtuoso Artie Shaw stuck to his principles and stepped away from the limelight while still ahead of the game. Prior to this, the rebellious Shaw kicked hard against segregation by employing black stars including Billie Holiday ("Any Old Time"). Now in his nineties and still razor sharp, Shaw assembled this anthology, which features his jukebox hits—"Begin The Beguine" remains one of the biggest-selling instrumentals ever—plus unreleased studio, concert and radio performances from his private collection. The ultimate example of swing when you're winning.

Rating: 4 / 10


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Reviewed: Respect Yourself: Stax Records And The Soul Explosion by Robert Gordon


As Robert Gordon reminds us in Respect Yourself: Stax Records And The Soul Explosion, his terrific account of the rise and fall of the great Memphis soul imprint, the Stax story is more than a record-label history. “It is an American story,” Gordon writes,”...