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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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The Collection 1939-58

Acrobat ACOCD 7044



George Shearing (piano) with Carlo Krahmer (drums)
1. How Come You Do Me Like You Do?
2. Stomp in F
George Shearing (accordion) with Carlo Krahmer (drums), Leonard Feather (piano)
3. Squeezing the Blues
George Shearing (piano)
4. Missouri Scrambler
5. Overnight Hop
George Shearing (piano) with the Stephane Grappelli Quartet
6. Dinah
7. Jive Bomber
George Shearing (piano)
8. Jump for Joy
9. Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar
George Shearing (piano) with the Radio Rhythm Club Sextet
10, Honeysuckle Rose
George Shearing (piano)
11. A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody
12. More Than You Know
13. Boogie Ride
14. I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance
15. Time On My Hands
The George Shearing Sextet
16. Cymbal Simon
17. Riff Up Them Stairs
18. Trunk Call
George Shearing (piano) as member of Frank Weir's Astor Club Seven
19. Lady Be Good
The George Shearing Trio: George Shearing (piano), Gene Ramey (bass), Cozy Cole (drums)
20. So Rare
21. Have You Met Miss Jones?
22. Buccaneer's Bounce
23. When Darkness Falls
George Shearing (piano), Curley Russell (bass), Denzil Best (drums)
24, Bop's Your Uncle
25. Sweet and Lovely
George Shearing (piano), Curley Russell (bass), Denzil Best (drums)
1. Sophisticated Lady
George Shearing (piano), Jack Fallon (bass), Norman Burns (drums)
2. The Nearness of You
3. Someone to Watch Over Me
4. The Man from Minton's
5. Poinciana
George Shearing and his Quintet: George Shearing (accordion), Marjorie Hyams (vibes), Chuck Wayne (guitar), John Levy (bass), Denzil Best (drums)
6. Cherokee
as above but with George Shearing (piano)
7. Moon Over Miami
8. September in the Rain
9. Bop Look and Listen
10. You Are Too Beautiful
11. I Didn't Know What Time It Was
12. The Continental
13. Nothin' But D Best
14. East of the Sun
15. I'll Remember April
16. Little White Lies
17. Jumpin' With Symphony Sid
18. Changing With the Times
19. When Your Lover Has Gone
20. As Long As There's Music
21. Roses of Picardy
22. For You
23. Geneva's Move
24. Pick Yourself Up
George Shearing and his Quintet: George Shearing (piano), Don Elliott (xylophone), Chuck Wayne (guitar), John Levy bass), Denzil Best (drums)
25. I'll Be Around
George Shearing and his Quintet: George Shearing (piano), Don Elliott (vibes), Chuck Wayne (guitar), John Levy bass), Denzil Best (drums)
1. Indian Summer
2. They All Laughed
3. Loose Leaf
George Shearing and his Quintet: George Shearing (piano), Joe Roland (vibes), Dick Evans (guitar), Al McGibbon (bass), Denzil Best (drums)
4. Easy Living
as above with Billy Eckstine (vocals)
5. Taking a Chance On Love
6. You're Driving Me Crazy
George Shearing and his Quintet (as track 4)
7. I Hear Music
8. I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance
9. Swedish Pastry
10. How High the Moon
George Shearing and his Quintet: George Shearing (piano), Joe Roland (vibes), Dick Garcia (guitar), Al McGibbon (bass), Marquis Foster (drums)
11. When Lights Are Low
12. Lullaby of Birdland
George Shearing and his Quintet: Geroge Shearing (piano), Cal Tjader (vibes), Jean 'Toots' Thielemans (guitar, harmonica), Al McGibbon (bass), Bill Clark (drums)
13. Hallelujah
as above, but Armando Peraza (congas) replaces Bill Clark
14. Our Love Is Here to Stay
15. Love Is Just Around the Corner
The George Shearing Quintet 'Latin Escapade' LP (1956)
16. Perfidia
17. Mambo With Me
18. Without You
19. Old Devil Moon
20. Mi Musica Es Parr Ti
21. Anitra's Nanigo (Anitra's Dance)
22. Yours
23. Cuban Love Song
24. Watch Your Step
25. Poodle Mambo
26. Canto Karabali (Jungle Drums)
27. Strange Enchantment
George Shearing (piano): 'The Shearing Piano', with Billy's Brass Choir
1. Stella By Starlight
2. On the Street Where You Live
3. Guilty
4. Friendly Persuasion
5. For Every Man There's a Woman
6. It Might As Well Be Spring
7. High On a Windy Hill
8. If
9. A Tune for Humming
10. Sigh No More
George Shearing Quintet with Dakota Staton (vocals): 'In the Night' (1958)
11. From Rags to Richards
12. I'm Left With Blues in My Heart
13. Pawn Ticket
14. In the Night
15. Easy
16. I Hear Music
17. Senor Blues
18. Confessin' The Blues
19. Later
20. The Thrill Is Gone
21. The Late, Late Show
22. I'd Love to Make Love to You
George Shearing (piano) with the Billy May Brass Choir: Selections from 'Burnished Brass' (1958)
23. Cheek to Cheek
24. Memories of You


This collection of four CDs follows the story of a British musician who, despite being blind, went to America and conquered the jazz world with a unique sound. George Shearing started as a pub pianist, playing the piano at his 'local', the Mason's Arms. There he was heard by Claude Bampton, who ran a band composed of blind musicians, which Shearing joined. George's first recordings were with drummer Carlo Krahmer, which are the first tracks on CD1. That CD also includes sessons he recorded with Stephane Grappelli, Frank Weir, and the Radio Rhythm Club Sextet led by clarinettist Harry Parry.

When he emigrated to the USA, Shearing discovered bebop but his more important discovery was the sound made by the quintet which he formed in 1949. With its distinctive style created by the fusion of piano, vibes and guitar, all played with perfection, George became famous. He also became well-known for the 'locked hands' technique which you can hear on some of the earliest recordings in this compilation.

What strikes me even more when listening to this collection is Shearing's delicate touch. He seems able to create a crystalline sound, especially in romantic ballads like Someone to Watch Over Me. George also had a delightful eclecticism, which led him to inroduce unexpected quotations from other musical forms and such classical elements as the fugue at the beginning and end of Pick Yourself Up. The opening of Stella by Starlight might have been composed by Debussy. As his career progressed, Shearing gradually changed the sound of the quintet, adding a Latin-American element by hiring conga drummer Armando Peraza, who is featured on the Latin Escapade album (CD3).

This four-disc compilation provides a useful overview of Shearing's career from 1939 to 1958, although the sound quality of a few tracks tends to be fuzzy. It is disappointing that full personnel listings are not given.

Tony Augarde

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