Tuesday, February 15, 2011

George Shearing (1919-2011)

George Shearing, the brilliant jazz piano player, died on Monday at the age of 91.  His best known composition, Lullaby of Birdland, became a standard that was recorded by over 100 performers.  What came to be known as the "Shearing Sound" was harmonically complex and instantly recognizable.  It consisted of Shearing on piano, playing block chords, with bass, drums and, instead of saxophone and trumpet, he employed a vibraphone and guitar.  I am particularly fond of his albums with singers, especially The Swingin's Mutual with Nancy Wilson (1961) and An Evening With George Shearing and Mel Torme (1982).  Here's a little taste of that Shearing Sound:


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