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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive Art Shaw biography, 1 Mar 2011
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This review is from: Three Chords for Beauty's Sake: The Life of Artie Shaw (Hardcover)
There will not, cannot, be a better biography of Art Shaw than this book. He is referred to as Art throughout the book because that is what he and his friends knew him as. Art was a very brilliant but very difficult person. His relationship with his parents influenced his personality and all his bizarre behaviour stemmed from that. He was never happy for any length of time and constantly sought perfection. When he decided he could not improve on his last recordings he stopped playing and laid his clarinet down. His idiosyncracies regading his orange juice and coffee in the morning are described and as a result how anyone managed to live with him is a mystery. The book is loaded with relevant anecdotes - the one involving Benny Goodman, Marilyn Monroe and Artie is my favourite. Despite himself Art had the best swing band of them all for a brief 18 months in 1938-39 and was the best swing clarinetist. Buy this book, savour it and treasure it for future reference. My only criticism is the author's unneccessary use of italics throughout the text.
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