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Reviewers: Don Mather, Marc Bridle, Ian Lace, Peter Woolf, Colin Clarke

George Shearing
Live at the FORUM, BATH 1992
George Shearing - Piano, Vocal
Neil Swainson - Bass
BBC Jazz Legends
BBCJ 7005-2
 Amazon UK 

  1. Horizon
  2. Just a Mood
  3. The Duke
  4. Estate
  5. All or Nothing at All
  6. For Heaven's Sake
  7. Donna Lee
  8. Medley
  9. Wail
  10. Lullaby of Birdland
  11. If you were the only girl in the world
  12. Loot to Boot

George Shearing is not only a Jazz legend, he's a British Jazz legend and there are few of those! Blind from birth, but in no way handicapped in his playing ability.

This concert also features master Bass player Neil Swainson whose contribution to the music is enormous. The jazz duo is not by any means unknown but unlike most, this one sounds complete. The musical understanding between them borders on the uncanny and the swing they generate at any tempo enormous. George Shearing never plays anything ugly or unmusical, having said that, he is along way removed from a cocktail pianist, he is a world class jazzer and no mistake! His work with the Quintet made him one of the world's favourite jazz stars and he has maintained his standards.

The album is pure enjoyment from start to finish, two men at the top of their profession, totally complementary in their approach and obviously enjoying themselves. The show kicks off with a Neil Swainson tune 'Horizon', which gets things off to a swinging start. A Shearing composition follows 'Just a Mood' and then the excellent Dave Brubeck tune 'The Duke'

'All or Nothing at All' is one of my favourite tracks with a great Bass intro and superb improvising from both musicians. George sings on 'For Heavens sake' and although the result is pleasant, I don't think he could have emulated Nat Cole in that department although I know he was one of Nat's favourite pianists. Donna Lee is based on the chords of Indiana and is a piece often used by jazzmen to show off their technique and command of their instruments; these two have plenty of both!

The Medley, which is a Shearing solo, is a fusion of the Kerry Dances with the Kyrie from the B Minor Mass by Bach. 'Wail' is a Bud Powell number; this one is a real swinger and a tremendous contrast to the gentle style of the previous track. The CD is completed by 'Loot to Boot' by Errol Garner.

For me, 76.07 minutes of sheer enjoyment.

Don Mather

Five Stars

Don Mather is a Saxophone Player and Bandleader based in Coventry

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