George Shearing: Conception
George Shearing (piano)
The Definitive George Shearing (Verve 314 589 857-2)
Composed by George Shearing.
Recorded: New York, July 27, 1949
Rating: 97/100 (learn more)
The luminous Shearing Quintet of 1949-51 shone most brightly on refashioned standards taken at medium or slow tempos, but George's penchant for boppish originals such as "Conception" provided a welcome change of pace. This group was as remarkable demographically as musically. For one thing, it was racially integrated (40% black) in an era of few mixed groups. For another, its vibist was female, and no slouch; dig her swinging turn abetted by drummer Best, whose brushwork rivaled Caravaggio. Shearing, though, was his own star soloist, masterfully at ease with both single-note and block-chord techniques. Fans loved this group. Rightly so.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz
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