It's all about the music, dude! Sit down, relax and listen to some tunes.
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Listening to George Shearing
Posted by Paul_A on April 3, 2007 at 19:12:02:
The Shearing Piano is a solo piano album that George Shearing cut in 1956. It's really an extraordinary recording. Two of the songs seem to be homages to Art Tatum who had just died that year: the playing sounds very much like Tatum himself. But the album has a number of other pieces that are homages to others, in a way. He transforms "My Funny Valentine" and "So Would I" into quite convincing fugues "in the manner of" Bach, with a little Lisztian bombast thrown in for good measure. He also quotes extensively--and convincingly--from Debussy, Poulenc, Rachmaninov, and Eric Satie.
I suppose this kind of music might fall under the "Third Wave" category of classically influenced recordings, but I find most of what I've heard of that genre--John Lewis, Claude Bolling, and a few others--to be straining for effect and overall just too cutesy. So much of this album is just musically beautiful so that it transcends the game of hide and seek he plays with his quotes of the classics.
His blindness from birth, and total of four years of piano lessons, makes such a musically literate exercise even more amazing. To think that he picked all of this out by ear.