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March 18, 2013 - I'm now using various file sites with varying success. With over 200 albums listed here, obviously I cannot upload everything at once. So if you're dying to hear something, please post a comment on that particular post and I will move it up in the priority queue. Enjoy!

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19 April 2012

No Regrets

Good grief! April is nearly over and I am just getting to a new post. From Allmusic.com, "After playing in a few bands in the late '20s and early '30s, clarinetist Artie Shaw formed the first of his several big bands in 1936. This initial group was unique, to say the least: Along with a core jazz band, Shaw also included a string section and a Dixieland-style contingent. In spite of the odd instrumentation, though, Shaw's first band cut many fine sides.This roundup on the Hep label brings together 24 of them, including such highlights as "Japanese Sandman," "Copenhagen," and "Sobbin' Blues." The band might not have been up to the standards of later Shaw groups, but still produced enough in the way of tight ensemble work and topnotch solos (tenor saxophonist Tony Pastor, drummer George Wettling, and pianist/arranger Joe Lipman deserve special mention)." The review continues by suggesting this earliest of Shaw bands is best-suited for core Shaw fans, however I think this music stands well alongside most other bands playing popular music at the time. Shaw could have turned out another pedestrian version of Frost On The Moon, for example, but his clarinet and the ensemble work make it enjoyable (though I'll take Chick Webb's version any day). Vocalists include Peg La Centra and Tony Pastor. The 24 tracks (recorded between June and December, 1936) finish with My Blue Heaven, which is one of the all-time great tunes regardless of who records it. After the original, Shaw's version has to be number two or three. All in all, Shaw delivers a mix of styles that makes one wonder what he was trying to accomplish. Please everyone, lack of focus, be 'that' different, or something else? Whatever the reason, Shaw disbanded the group the following year, returning with a new band in 1938 and his biggest hit Begin The Beguine. Enjoy. +


01. Japanese Sandman
02. A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody
03. I Used To Be Above Love
04. No Regrets
05. South Sea Island Magic
06. It Ain't Right
07. Sugar Foot Stomp
08. Thou Swell
09. You're Giving Me A Song And Dance
10. Darling, Not Without You
11. One, Two, Button Your Shoe
12. Let's Call A Heart A Heart
13. The Skeleton In The Closet
14. There's Something In The Air
15. Take Another Guess
16. There's Frost On The Moon
17. Love And Learn
18. Moon Face
19. The Same Old Line
20. You Can Tell She Comes From Dixie
21. Sobbin' Blues
22. Copenhagen
23. Cream Puff
24. My Blue Heaven