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Like Fine Wine

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Album Review

George Shearing, 84 at the time of this recording, shows that he can still play 65 years since his recording debut. His wit (starting off the set with a bossa nova version of "Giant Steps"), creativity, and technique are all very much intact. Some of the music is easy listening (as has always been true of the output throughout his long career), while other pieces burn a bit. The rhythm section (with guitarist Reg Schwager and Shearing's longtime bassist Neil Swainson) is a bit reminiscent in spots of the King Cole Trio and the pianist hints in spots at his other influences (including Teddy Wilson and Erroll Garner). But as usual, Shearing mostly sounds like himself, swinging with a twinkle in his eye and a very active brain. As famous as he is (and possibly because of his fame), George Shearing remains one of the underrated jazz greats. Highlights include "Giant Steps," "You and the Night and the Music," Artie Shaw's "Moon Ray," "Tricrotism," "Lullaby in Rhythm," and "When Lights Are Low."

Customer Reviews

Like Fine Wine

It is not possible to get enough of George Shearing. All right he is 84, I'm 76 and I have been listening to him for a long time and hope to keep on. He doesn't get older, just like my beautiful wife, he just gets better.

Biography

Born: August 13, 1919 in London, England

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

For a long stretch of time in the 1950s and early '60s, George Shearing had one of the most popular jazz combos on the planet -- so much so that, in the usual jazz tradition of distrusting popular success, he tended to be underappreciated. Shearing's main claim to fame was the invention of a unique quintet sound, derived from a combination of piano, vibraphone, electric guitar, bass, and drums. Within this context, Shearing would play in a style he called "locked hands," which he picked up and refined...
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