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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Very taken with Africa Express' version of "In C", by Terry Riley, this week. I have a few takes on the piece (50 years old this month, incidentally), the latest being one by Portishead's Adrian Utley from a couple of years back, though I still probably default to what I think is the original...