As a rule, record companies don't give artists the chance to pick the songs when a boxed set is assembled. They might ask the person who writes the liner notes to interview the artist, or they might even have the artist write the liner notes. But the label, not the artist, usually chooses the material. Self Portrait is an exception; when this five-CD, 95-track boxed set was assembled in 2001, a 91-year-old Artie Shaw was given a rare chance to make the selections himself and comment on them. And for those who are seriously into the clarinetist, it is fascinating to see what he chooses. Self Portrait, which spans 1936-1954, contains most of his essential swing, era hits, including "Stardust," "Begin the Beguine," "Frenesi," and his ominous signature tune, "Nightmare."
French artist Colleen is fearless in her willingness to explore new sounds and new ways of creating music as a solo performer. On her new album A flame my love, a frequency she introduces the most drastic change to her music since she began singing on her fourth album. A chance encounter with a Critter and Guitari synthesizer at King Britt’s Philadelphia studio on the Captain of None album tour cracked the compositional model wide open. Colleen bought a Critter and Guitari Pocket Piano with the aim to use it through a newly-acquired Moog filter pedal to create new and interesting rhythms to accompany her voice and viola da gamba. But it turned out the sounds of this viola and rhythm combination was not what she was looking for, so in typical Colleen fashion, she set the viola da gamba aside altogether and picked up an additional Critter and Guitari synth, the Septavox, dug out her her trusted Moog delay and dove right in.