Arthur Jacob Arshawsky (May 23, 1910 December 30, 2004), better known as Artie Shaw, was an accomplished jazz clarinetist, composer, bandleader, and writer. He was born in New York City, United States, and began learning the saxophone when he was 15 and, by age 16, had begun to tour with a band. He returned to New York and became a session musician. During the Swing Era, his big band was very popular with hits like "Begin the Beguine", "Lady Be Good", and "Frenesi". Shaw was know for being an innovator in the big band idiom, at the time using unusual instrumentation. His piece "Interlude in B-flat" was one of the earliest examples of what would be later dubbed third stream. He hired Billie Holiday as his band's vocalist, becoming the first white bandleader to hire a full-time black female singer. His band became enormously successful and his playing, dismissed at first, eventually rivaled that of Benny Goodman: Longtime Duke Ellington clarinetist Barney Bigard--himself a talented musician--cited Shaw as his favorite clarinet player. At the height of his popularity, Shaw reportedly earned US$30,000 per week, a very large amount during the Great Depression.
This compilation was released in June 2000 and contains some of his best work - digitally remastered for your listening pleasure.