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George Shearing

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Biography

Battersea area of London, United Kingdom (1919 – 2011)

George Shearing (13 August 1919 – February 14, 2011) was a well-known pianist and inventor of the famous “Shearing Sound”: a form of smooth cocktail jazz characterised by block chords played on the piano along with similar chords played on the vibraphone.

Shearing was born in the Battersea area of London, United Kingdom. Congenitally blind, he was the youngest of nine children. He started to learn piano at the age of three. After limited training and extensive listening to recorded jazz, he began playing at hotels, clubs and pubs in the London area, sometimes solo, occasionally with dance bands. In 1940, Shearing joined Harry Parry’s popular band and became a star in Britain, performing for the BBC, playing with Stéphane Grappelli’s London-based groups of the early 1940s, and winning seven consecutive Melody Maker polls.
In 1946, Shearing established himself in the United States. In 1955, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States. Leading a quintet (piano with guitar, bass, drums and vibraphone), which over the years included Cal Tjader, Margie Hyams, Denzil Best, Israel Crosby, Joe Pass and Gary Burton, Shearing had a succession of hugely popular records including September in the Rain and his own composition, Lullaby of Birdland (1952). His style, including the joint playing of the melody by piano and vibraphone, was also widely copied, becoming part of the idiom of pop music, so that his records from that period now sound far less innovative than they did at the time. Later, Shearing played with a trio, as a solo and increasingly in duo. Among his collaborations have been sets with the Montgomery Brothers, Marian McPartland, Brian Torff, Jim Hall, Hank Jones and Kenny Davern.

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  • Slim_rafa

    smooth

    8 May 1:41pm Reply
  • musicgodlything

    What's New is like a warm embrace from deep down inside.

    27 Mar 2012 Reply
  • Jorgersg

    George, you fucking lunatic. You sound better on vinyl.

    20 Mar 2012 Reply
  • Kershlaus91

    Jesus Christ , his version of "Summertime" is just incredible

    29 Nov 2011 Reply
  • Druid66

    One of Dad's favorites, and no trick to figure out why. This cat has inimitable style, a real lightness. Hard to believe he was blind almost his whole life, he could 'see' the eighty-eight keys with no problem! (-:

    15 Aug 2011 Reply
  • GABBER777

    Спасибо за столь прекрасную музыку! R.I.P.

    22 May 2011 Reply
  • Kershlaus91

    RIP .... he re-arranged a greate version of Over the Rainbow for piano.

    15 Apr 2011 Reply
  • Strawb77

    rip george

    18 Feb 2011 Reply
  • ginandjukes

    George is off to the great gig in the sky. RIP jazz giant.

    15 Feb 2011 Reply
  • greszkinov

    :D

    18 Jun 2010 Reply
  • m3tr0

    Same here, thanks Jack!

    6 Apr 2010 Reply
  • OllieMonaghan

    Jack sent me as well.

    22 Mar 2010 Reply
  • jamierobertward

    Jack sent me.

    15 Dec 2009 Reply
  • johntardsbaby66

    makes me want to be a lounge lizard

    17 Aug 2009 Reply
  • SrtaM

    Awesome!

    29 May 2009 Reply
  • LondonLouis

    A good musician and, given his disability, an inspirational story. My old-time Londoner neighbours always counted George as one of their own, despite the fact that he ended up a US citizen.

    7 Mar 2009 Reply
  • daslava

    fabulous

    17 Dec 2008 Reply
  • washdup

    A poem dedicated to a perky little jazz number by George Shearing: An old man hiding in a cupboard, is very pleased, to have just heard the news, that the pen IS mightier than the sword!

    10 Apr 2008 Reply
  • pitzelberger

    That's my man!

    1 Jun 2006 Reply
  • All 23 shouts