George Shearing - The Early Years (CD)


Price:
$ 28.99

Description

Release Date: 10/14/08

He Thrived in Wartime London

This collection opens just before WW2, then into in wartime London. George became skilled at dodging the bombs and playing through chaos. For anybody, life was demanding. And George was blind. His family was poor and he received a musical education only because of his disability. By the age of sixteen, George was earning a living wage as a pub pianist, and aged seventeen was recruited into a touring band, instantly identified as a talent to watch. The earliest recording here, made when George was twenty, shows him as an accomplished pianist whose instinct for jazz was already developed. As well as plotting George's progress through the war and into the early postwar years, we encounter his many recordings with Stephane Grappelli (who flourishes out of Django's shadow) and a panoply of forgotten British jazz musicians who are much more than mere imitators of Americans. Included are postwar sessions led by reedman Harry Hayes. So forward-looking is the material, it is hard to believe that they were recorded where and when they were. In December 1945, soon after the end of the war, George made his first visit to New York. He seems to have haunted 52nd Street, hearing Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and Lucky Thompson among others and sitting in with Charlie Shavers and Sid Catlett. When he returned to England, it was as a missionary for bop in particular and the US in general. For those who know only George Shearing's American recordings, this collection will be a revelation. Often with collections like this, material is claimed as 'rare'. With much here, though, that's justifiable. Some of the George Evans tracks are vanishingly obscure, for example - some of the cuts here are from tests, others from a long-deleted LP which was released in the 1980s. Content was being found for the project, right up to the date of completion. In the meantime, we believe that this collection is the most thorough ever undertaken of Shearing's early work.

Label: Jsp Records
Genre: Jazz
 

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