Biography of clarinetist and bandleader Artie Shaw, one of the principal figures of the big band/jazz era of the late 1930s and 1940s. He discusses his constant need to seek new challenges, which led to numerous retirements and career changes including his foray into writing, which had long been his primary intention. He speaks about his difficulty in reconciling his fans' popular expectations with his personal, more esoteric musical ambitions. His many years of retreat from public life are also discussed, as well as his notorious series of unsuccessful marriages. Written by
Brilliant documentary on the greatest jazz clarinetist of the 20th Century.
I must admit my surprise at being outdone by my fellow Aussie Peter Blight on the first review of this film having recorded it on Pay TV two years ago. I have been a bit slack on my follow up on IMDb.
I totally agree with Peter's comments, I couldn't have expressed my own remarks better. What a great review on his part, deservedly getting top marks accordingly.
I have a special link to Artie Shaw through my late father, who was a professional Clarinet and Saxophone Player of the 1930 - 40's' and personally met Artie himself, when he toured with his U.S. Navy Band in the Pacific theater during World War 2. He arrived in Brisbane in mid October 1943, to entertain U.S. troops at Camp Moorooka Primary School a recreational facility for these G.I.'s at that time
Artie gave my father one of his I.D. Cards in U.S. Navy uniform as a pass to attend this concert, which my father did, and I still have that card in my possession to this day.
Artie Shaw was a genius of the clarinet with a unique style of playing not equaled by his other competitors like Benny Goodman, Jimmy Dorsey and Woody Hermann who I would never criticize,- they were entitled to their interpretations of jazz and also played great during the swing band era.
Artie's story is one of a self confessed, difficult compulsive perfectionist musician who felt he could not achieve his ultimate dream with his beloved clarinet and gave the music business away in 1954 when he said he could not do better. He married eight times,including actresses Lana Turner, Ava Gardner and Evelyn Keyes - quite understandably, a very striking good looking man.
He then turned to writing, including his autobiography," The Trouble with Cinderella", well worth reading, and also his great passion for fishing.
I had the great privilege of acquiring some of his fine clothing from his Estate (which fits me perfectly) plus other great souvenirs.
Vale Artie - you were the greatest, and departed this world aged 94 leaving us a legacy of some of the finest jazz clarinet music of all time along with a great succession of superb Swing Bands and magnificent players- Billy Butterfield, Roy Eldridge, "Hot Lips" Page and Buddy Rich and singers like Billie Holliday, Helen Forrest,and Mel. Torme and his Meltones. I agree that a DVD release on the documentary of this great artist is an absolute necessity.
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