by Mary Foster Conklin
The celebration of 1969 continued in this broadcast, which included new releases from vocalists Nicholas Bearde, The New York Voices and Quiana Lynell, pianist Alberto Pibiri & the Al Peppers, plus a special Woodstock tribute by Erik Applegate & Time Child, with birthday shout outs to Pat Metheny in the first hour, Mary Stallings (80!) and George Shearing in the third hour (100!), and Bill Evans in the final hour, among others. As always, a preview of who played in ...read more
by Marc Cohn
August jazz birthdays this week on Gifts and Messages. We feature pianist George Shearing for his 100th birthday, along with Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker (2020 is the Bird centennial. Are you ready?), Count Basie and Lester Young. Among the living we give thanks for Pat Metheny, Wayne Shorter, Cecile McLorin-Salvant and Branford Marsalis. And there are singers Eddie Jefferson and Jimmy Rushing, reedmen Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Benny Carter (at the Savoy Ballroom), pianist Oscar Peterson and trumpeter Bill Coleman. ...read more
by C. Michael Bailey
Pianist Sir George Shearing (1919--2011) was himself an integral part of the be bop jazz movement in the late 1940s. His quintet that featured vibraphone and guitar with the standard piano trio was sonically ground breaking. His precise and measured piano style influenced a generation of pianists and several of his compositions ("Lullaby of Birdland" and Conception") have become jazz standards. He was not flashy, but a solid, well-considered player whose playing could always be counted on to be elegant ...read more
by Douglas Payne
The great pianist George Shearing (1919-2011) helmed a classic jazz quintet from 1949 through 1978. The best of these recordings were made while Shearing was contracted with Capitol between 1955 and 1969. Here is a sample of the finest of the George Shearing Quintet's recordings. TrackNameTimeArtistAlbum1 Strange2:53George ShearingThe Shearing Spell-Velvet Carpet2 Yesterdays3:14George ShearingThe Shearing Spell-Velvet Carpet3 Out Of This World3:21George ShearingThe Shearing Spell-Velvet Carpet4 Cuban Fantasy2:28George ShearingThe Shearing Spell-Velvet Carpet5 'Round Midnight3:01George ShearingThe Shearing Spell-Velvet Carpet6 If ...read more
by Ken Hohman
George Shearing has never been one to be accused of playing too loud. His urbane sound of piano, vibraphone and guitar playing in unison made his records some of the most popular jazz albums of the '50s and '60s. But for those who acquired a taste for his brand of jazz, there was much beauty to be discovered beneath the genteel swing of The Shearing Spell." And that is much the case for Like Fine Wine.
Performed in a sympathetic ...read more
by Franz A. Matzner
George Shearing's latest release, Like Fine Wine, presents the renowned pianist/composer in a trio setting performing a series of-sadly-quite tired standards. Certainly, Shearing's abilities are in evidence, shinning through at odd moments throughout the course of the album, but the pieces are taken at such a meandering pace, and have been aged to such a mellow quality, that the resulting interpretations slip dangerously close to the smooth jazz versions, with the most egregious takes sounding almost like ...read more
by Russell Moon
George Shearing has written an autobiography entitled Lullaby of Birdland. To coincide with its release, Concord has issued a 2-CD set of the pianist's recordings, entitled Lullabies of Birdland. Most of the selections are from Shearing's 1980s Concord canon, but works from other labels are also here, including three early recordings from MGM and two 1990s items from Telarc. The songs are presented in chronological order.
Shearing is not known as a father of the cool school, but the three ...read more