Wednesday, March 2, 2011

More Greatness from George Shearing...

My blog, written shortly after the passing of George Shearing on Valentine's Day centered around his legendary perusal of "My Funny Valentine," which tells us of his love, let alone his knowledge of the classics.
I thought that in the event you do not know of a CD by Shearing which best informs us of his magnificent fusion of the Classics and Pop music, please look for the CD titled "My Ship."
I know of no other of the many recordings that Shearing made during his career that better illuminates his wonderful synthesis of the two forms of music that he dedicated his life to..
A few examples:
In his magnificent arrangement of "Greensleeves," Shearing constructs a canon of three beats duration, on the unison, just as Bach might well have done with the same tune; he inculcates one of the main themes of Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto into the actual "Greensleeves" theme in the most wonderfully dovetailed manner; he actually finds a way of using the Danse Russe from Stravinsky's "Petrouchka", in augmented form, as a kind of melodic umbrella hovering over "Greensleeves" in a truly ingenious manner - for me, this particular arrangement shows the genius of Shearing at its highest level.
In "The Entertainer," Shearing moves this most popular piano piece of Scott Joplin from its wonderfully open-faced simplism into an aural arena of the most sophisticated form of Jazz, without losing any forward motion; one of Shearing's most brilliant examples of stylistic transmogrification.
And so on... do obtain this CD. You will most assuredly learn more about this wonderful musician from England - remember, this man was blind from birth.

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