Artie Shaw, Big Band Clarinetist Great Dies At 94

Discussion in 'Music' started by Peter Kline, Dec 30, 2004.

  1. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    [​IMG]
     
  2. Greig Forbes

    Greig Forbes Extra

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    There goes a great man and a life lived to the full. There's something very classy about someone who reaches the very top in his area of the arts, knows it, and walks away to do something more challenging to him personally, knowing that he could have just given his fans more of the same for as long as he wanted.

    "Any more would have been less." Great epitaph.
     
  3. Karl_Luph

    Karl_Luph Supporting Actor

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    Sorry to hear this, Artie Shaw was a fantastic clarinet player and band leader. On par with Benny Goodman . A HUGE hit Artie did was a beautiful song called "Deep Purple." Thanks to all who enjoy his music and have sent in posts. We'll miss you Artie!!
     
  4. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    Thanks for mentioning this passing. I wasn't going to bother since Artie put down the clarinet before 96% of HTF members were born.
    By chance I had bought Jazz Legends SWING Volume 1 a couple days ago, so when I saw the obit I was able to put on a DVD that includes Artie Shaw with Buddy Rich on drums.
    If I'd known back when that it was enough to get you in bed with Lana Turner & Ava Gardner, I wouldn't have quit playing the clarinet in junior high. [​IMG]
     
  5. Peka J

    Peka J Agent

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    Wow, this is really surprising. I have been watching parts of the Ken Burns Jazz documentary the last week (I got the DVD set for Christmas) and the interview with Artie Shaw is frequently used and insightful. I was thinking how young he looked in the interview. I used to know a bunch of guys who were young during the swing era, and they all used to sing the praises of Artie Shaw. Sadly, most of those men (many of whom fought in WWII) are gone now, and sad too that so is Artie Shaw.
     
  6. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    Well, Artie was 94 and he out-lasted all of his contemporaries.
    He had been in ill health the past few years. About 5 years ago he broke a hip when a dog he bought did a "wrap around" to him on the leash and pulled Artie to the ground.
    I spoke with Artie on many ocassions in the 90s when I was working for a record company that released some of his recordings. They were air-checks, recordings made from broadcasts in 1938 and 1939. He went over the material with me and helped pick the performances. He also commented on each and every song in the accompanying booklet. It's a hoot. He minced no words on those recordings/songs he disliked. Artie loved playing but hated the business of running a big band during the era. A most interesting man. I always enjoyed our talks which were mostly about anything but music.
     
  7. SteveLa

    SteveLa Stunt Coordinator

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    My parents took me to see him when I was a child about 30 years ago. It was the first "adult" music I remember enjoying.
     
  8. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    SteveLa,

    Artie stopped playing in 1954. You may have been taken to a performance of the "Artie Shaw Orchestra" which was a "ghost" band. That's a band that plays arrangements of a famous big band era orchestra with the permission of the artist or estate. Current ghost bands performing are Harry James, Glenn Miller, Woody Herman and a few others.

    Peter
     
  9. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    From the NYTimes Obit...."In March 1954, after a playing with a small group at the Embers in New York, he announced his retirement at age 43. He never performed again, although in 1983 he formed an Artie Shaw Orchestra to play his old arrangements and some newer music. It was directed by Dick Johnson, a saxophonist and clarinetist, and Mr. Shaw appeared with it occasionally as a nonplaying conductor."

    So, Steve may well have seen him!
     
  10. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    I thought Steve meant seeing AND hearing him play. In the end, seeing, unfortunately in this respect, is not hearing. Johnson was a good clarinetist, but not really in Artie's league.
     
  11. Karl_Luph

    Karl_Luph Supporting Actor

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    Wish we had some dvds of the performances of the greats of the swing era. Seems like nowadays every flash in the pan one hit wonder band out there has a music dvd.
     

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