Artie Shaw has died:
Shaw was one of the most lyrical and creative clarinetists in jazz. A virtuoso with a singing tone distinctly his own, his sense of structure, phrasing and shading made his improvised melodies often seem like fully formed compositions.If you don't know Artie Shaw and want an introductory impression of his playing, try his rendition of Hoagy Carmichael's 'Star Dust'. And don't neglect to catch Billie Holiday on 'Any Old Time', while you're about it.
Shaw was a restless and adventurous artist who refused to repeat earlier successes. He formed a series of outstanding and innovative bands noted for their orchestral richness, cohesion and swing. But he disbanded some at the height of their success or a few months after forming them.
He grew bored playing the same tunes again and again and became increasingly frustrated by the public's demand for his old hits and lack of enthusiasm for his current work. He moved in and out of the public eye for a decade before he quit music for good in 1954 to write literature.