Monday, September 7, 2009

MOTD - Artie Shaw: A Long Distance Dedication

Mp3 Of The Day

Band/Artist: Artie Shaw and his Orchestra
Song: Stardust
Style: Swing, Big band music, Jazz
country/location: New York City
release: 1930s

So two weeks ago, my grandfather passed away. If there was ever a person who directly influenced my love of music, it was he. His entire life and soul was based around music, much like mine if not more than mine. He played trumpet his entire life, taught music, played in a jazz band for 60+ years, shared it, etc. Even up until his passing, he'd have a Saturday evening music series where he'd invite his neighbors to explore various types of music, ranging from Mendelsohn to Steven Foster to who knows (though he never did metal or heavy music heh). In the four or five years he did this series, he never ever repeated a night! Always something different.

Anyways, I wanted to pay tribute to him in my Mp3 of the Day. I thought of no better song than "Stardust." "Stardust" was often described to me as his theme song, and understandably too. It's a beautiful ballad that conveys longing love in a sorrowful yet heartfelt way. This version by Artie Shaw and his orchestra is an old favorite of mine, featuring Billy Butterfield (trumpet) and Jack Jenney (trombone). The orchestra swings you gently as each soloist get their moment to shine. It's the perfect slow dance number for it is comforting while still having a rhythm that would work amazingly on the dance floor. I can just imagine him and my grandmother dancing to this song at their wedding. Then 60 years later, still dancing to "Stardust" as if no time has passed. That's what I see and feel when I listen to it. It truly describes my grandfather, whose life was full of love and music.

I dedicate this song/post to my grandfather, Milt Aptekar, who taught me to love music and life.


Unknown said...

You got it, Wren! You captured his contagious love of music. Mostly all types, except, as you note (you'll excuse the expression) heavy metal. Dad was not into that genre. But you received a lifetime gift from Pops in his love of good music. That is something that will stay with you for your entire life. Keep smiling. Keep singing. Keep playing the music. No one can take that away from you. And Artie Shaw was a master. Good choice.

Richard Aptekar