George Shearing : born today in 1920

George Shearing

Sir George Shearing, OBE (13 August 1919 – 14 February 2011) was a British jazz pianist who for many years led a popular jazz group that recorded for Discovery Records, MGM Records and Capitol Records. The composer of over 300 titles, including the jazz standard “Lullaby of Birdland“, had multiple albums on the Billboard charts during the 1950s, 1960s, 1980s and 1990s. He died of heart failure in New York City, at the age of 91.

With his quintet he created a individual sound and arrangements based on block chords, with the melody in the top and bottom notes.  Further, his quintet employed an uncommon instrumentation, including vibraphone and guitar as opposed to the usual line-up of trumpet and tenor sax.

He often collaborated with singers, issuing to class jazz records one with Nancy Wilson, The Swingin’s Mutual,  and the other with Peggy Lee, The Beauty and the Beat.

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