Dramatically And Soulfully Beautiful
Rebecca*rhapsodyinblue* | CA USA | 08/28/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
""I remember going to Basin Street West in San Francisco to hear the George Shearing Quintet back in 1966. The music was nice and I was enjoying it a lot ... and then George Shearing played a solo introduction to one of the tunes. I don't remember the tune but that intro stayed with me for weeks. His touch, sound and harmonic conception ... everything was so beautiful. I was totally knocked out. ~ Don Thompson, Bassist/Pianist ~
Recorded live at the Café Carlyle in New York City in January of 1984, this CD is one of the best recordings of one of my favorite jazz pianists, George Shearing who is one of the most respected names in jazz for his exceptional artistry in piano playing. He is accompanied by a fine bassist/pianist/composer Don Thompson, whom George Shearing first met when he played a benefit for a friend in Toronto and a friend of his advised him that Don Thompson would be in the audience with his bass should he decide to assist him. Introduction was made and Mr. Shearing asked him to sit in and he was so pleased and delighted with the result - following was his comment.
"One of the great rarities in this business is when you can meet a musician, ask him to sit in, and find one can play the whole concert together without rehearsal. I point this out to show how marvelous it is when two minds meet and you discover they are completely on the same wave length."
That is absolutely true for both are so harmonically in tune playing together as they present to a live audience ten remarkable jazz pieces from the musical portfolios of creative and brilliant tunesmiths of all-time: Johnny Mandel, Gene de Paul, Gordon Jenkins, Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock, Marvin Fisher and Don Thompson, among others.
The stellar performance to me is an all-time favorite of mine which is the most sublime composition of Johnny Mandel, "The Shadow Of Your Smile" played in a very mesmerizing fashion. It is sooo beautiful that I could listen to it with a few repeats before listening to the rest of the tracks. I also love his amazing solo on "I Cover The Waterfront" with a charming arrangement that sounds like a Debussy piece of music. Other highlights are "P.S. I Love You," "Teach Me Tonight" and "Inside." Thompson also plays piano with Shearing on Herbie Hancock's exquisite composition "Tell Me A Bedtime Story." Shearing shows off his vocal artistry in "Blues For Breakfast." And not to mention an effervescent, lively and original jazz masterpiece by Don Thompson, "Stratford Stomp."
In addition to all the good points about this CD, I love the gorgeous artwork on the cover photo. It is a mural painted by Marcel Vertes in 1954.
Now, for fans of George Shearing, you have legitimate reasons to include this to your collection of fine music. Please check out as well some of his very remarkable recordings such as Lullabies of Birdland: A Musical Autobiography, Definitive George Shearing, I'll Take Romance, My Ship, and his wonderful collaborations with two of the most prolific and passionate interpreters of the Great American Songbook, Michael Feinstein on Hopeless Romantics and John Pizzarelli on The Rare Delight of You.
Bomojaz | South Central PA, USA | 05/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"George Shearing has always impressed me as one of the most lyrical and elegant piano players around, and this CD, recorded live at the swank NYC supper club, captures those aspects of his playing beautifully. Whether playing bebop-associated tunes such as Sonny Rollins's PENT-UP HOUSE or Bird's CHERYL or intimate theatre tunes such as INSIDE by Marvin Fisher, Shearing's ordered, poetic touches are ever present. Don Thompson is a similar-styled bassist, and they play especially well together on tunes where they exchange ideas in traded passages: on the already mentioned PENT-UP HOUSE and CHERYL, for example. On TELL ME A BEDTIME STORY and STRATFORD STOMP both men play piano, and they weave in and around each other beautifully and effectively. I COVER THE WATERFRONT is a Shearing solo track, and it's the most impressionistic and dreamy piece on the CD. I'm not sure this one is in print anymore, but if you are a fan of the Shearing touch, it would be worth your while picking up on this CD if you should see it somewhere."