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Artie Shaw's Class in Swing (1939)



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Short | Music





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Paramount Headliner: Artie Shaw's Class in Swing  »

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Another Winner for Shaw
1 May 2011 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Artie Shaw's Class In Swing (1939)

*** (out of 4)

If you're a fan of shorts then you've probably seen dozens of musical ones where jazz or swing music is shown. Many of these shorts in the 30s and 40s might have been viewed by people in a theater who had no idea what the genre was and this interesting Paramount film uses Artie Lang to introduce swing music to those unfamiliar with it. The film starts off showing an empty stage where the musicians are one by one thrown in and their job is explained to the viewer. We're informed of the instruments they play and how various items are mixed in order to try and create an unique sound, which is certainly wanted. After the introductions Artie Shaw comes out and performs a couple numbers. I've seen countless swing shorts but not one like this. There's certainly nothing ground-breaking here but I found the entire thing to be pretty interesting and even as someone familiar with the genre I still found the short to contain some nice information that I really hadn't thought of before. The look of the film is quite simple as it was obviously shot without much of a budget but the music is very good and the documentary-like nature makes it somewhat unique.

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