From the Vault...


Artie Shaw
"Dancing In The Dark"

© BMG Special Products Records

Year of Release: 1999

track listing
  • Frenesi
  • Begin The Beguine
  • Moonglow
  • Stardust
  • Dancing In The Dark
  • I Could Write A Book
  • I Cover The Waterfront
  • These Foolish Things
    Remind Me Of You
  • Someone To Watch
    Over Me
  • A Foggy Day

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    Artie Shaw
    "Dancing In The Dark"

    Artie Shaw recently passed away this year, as WSVNRadio reviews his Dancing In The Dark release, as music was music back in the late 1930s/1940s. Like Glenn Miller, Shaw's flute and orchestra inspired a great trend in big band music, and became one of music's popular artists of the Big Band era.

    "Frenesi" would be his only #1 song from 1939-1940, as his other popular songs are in this (only) 10-song set. (Recently his Self-Portrait box set was released before his death.) "Begin The Beguine" -- almost every popular artist of the Big Band era covered this song, and even in later decades; Shaw's version is just as classic. "Moonglow" is a delightful bouncy tune, even having a sensual sound to it, as Shaw's flute is priceless.

    Another popular hit for Shaw was his version of another song that practically everyone has done during the Big Band era and beyond -- "Stardust." Another great version, and sensual as well. "Dancing In The Dark" doesn't ring any memory bells, but it's just as fantastic with Shaw's smooth flute delivery.

    The remaining songs (with the exception of one) also doesn't ring any memory bells (that is, I have heard of these songs before...) "I Could Write A Book" has a very casual sound, then picks up in a great standard contemporary jazz style; very enjoyable. Another pleasant casual smooth song is "I Cover The Watefront" a great getaway of the common rock and rap sounds of our current decade. "These Foolish Things Remind Me Of You" also has a great sound, as Shaw's style easily matches that of Glenn Miller's.

    "Someone To Watch Over Me" is another favorite of mine; most of the versions I've heard were of a slow ballad pace. Shaw's version is very upbeat and jazzy, having a great sound, just as all the songs contained on this album. The album's closing song, "A Foggy Day" is a great slow jazz tune, very sensual, and entertaining.

    Dancing In The Dark is a wonderful getaway from today's contemporary sounds. After listening to this release, you can't help but want to hear more. Ten songs is definitely not enough, but then again you don't want too much either. This ia great sampling of Shaw's music, and a good start in enjoying the music of the pre-Rock era. Where most may have remembered the Glenn Miller name than Shaw's (at least I did), Shaw's music will live with greatfulness as his other co-band leaders. Ahh, they don't make music like this anymore, but it's always a treat to look back, and recognize that this was music, and damn good music too.

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    Previous Review: #933
    Deep Purple--Burn
    Next Review: #935
    Cyndi Lauper--She's So Unusual