Sir George Shearing OBE (actually George Albert Shearing ; born August 13, 1919 in London , England , † February 14, 2011 in Manhattan , New York ) was an American jazz pianist and composer of British origin.
Live and act
Shearing, blind from birth , began playing the piano at the age of three. He grew up as the youngest of nine children in the working-class Battersea district and attended the Linden Lodge School for the blind, where he received rudimentary musical training. By making jazz recordings e.g. B. "listened to" by Teddy Wilson or Fats Waller , he taught himself the musical fundamentals of the style and soon began to perform in London hotels, clubs and bars; occasionally alone, more often in dance bands. When Leonard Feather heard him at a jam session at the Rhythm Club , he organized a first recording session in 1939; he later arranged for Shearing to emigrate to the United States.
In 1940 Shearing became a member of Harry Parry's then popular band . He played for the BBC , among others with the jazz violinist Stéphane Grappelli and with Jimmy Skidmore , and as an accordionist with Frank Weir. In 1946 the pianist went to the United States , taking citizenship in 1955. In 1948 he appeared as a soloist, then with groups in the Three Deuces . In January 1949 he led a quintet in the Clique Club , which Buddy DeFranco also belonged to.
As the leader of a quintet (piano, guitar, bass, drums and vibraphone), in which musicians like Cal Tjader , Charlie Shoemake , Chuck Wayne , Marjorie Hyams , Denzil Best , Israel Crosby , Joe Pass , Pat Martino , Emil Richards , Toots Thielemans and Gary Burton , Shearing recorded a number of highly successful records; among them "September in the Rain", his only hit in the US charts, and " Lullaby of Birdland ". His compositions "She" and "Conception" also became standards .
Shearing later appeared in a trio, solo and increasingly in a duo; he played with the Montgomery Brothers , Marian McPartland , Brian Torff , Jim Hall , Hank Jones , Kenny Davern , Stix Hooper and Neil Swainson . Singers like Nat King Cole , Peggy Lee , Ernestine Anderson and Carmen McRae also worked with him. His collaboration with Mel Tormé in the 1980s was awarded two Grammys .
Shearing was also inspired by classical music; some of his solos are reminiscent of the style of Debussy and Erik Satie , with whom he refined his style. A variant of the block chord technique, shearing voicing , is named after him. "The fact that Shearing was often reviled as a cocktail pianist for this - he is said to have called Thelonious Monk a ' piano tuner ' - didn't detract from his success."
Shearing had been married to Trixie, nee Bayes, since 1941. Both had a daughter, Wendy (born 1942). In 1944 they had a son who was also blind and who died at less than a year during the war winter in London in late 1944. In 1984 Shearing married his second wife, Ellie.
After a fall that forced him to hospital for months, he retired from concerts in 2004. In 2007 Queen Elizabeth II knighted him. In the early morning hours of Feb. 14, 2011 Shearing died, according to his longtime manager Dale Sheets in Manhattan the consequences of heart failure ( Engl. Congestive heart failure ).
Music and effect
- “The guitar plays the melody in the lower register, the vibraphone an octave above; the piano fills the middle and plays all the voices. With that you actually have a quintet edition of the Glenn Miller sound . "
In the “shearing sound”, the piano melody is repeated as a chord of vibraphone and guitar one octave below the actual melody part. Shearing's style, which among other things cultivated the unison playing of the piano and vibraphone , was widely copied. Keyboardist Jim Beard is one of his students .
- 1975: Honorary Doctorate in Music from Westminster College, Salt Lake City , USA
- 1983: Grammy for An Evening with George Shearing & Mel Tormé
- 1984: Grammy for Top Drawer
- 1994: Honorary Doctorate in Music from Hamilton College, New York, USA
- 1996: Appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)
- 2002: Honorary Doctorate in Music from DePauw University in Indiana, USA
- 2007: Elevation to the British nobility as a Knight Bachelor by Queen Elizabeth II.
- The London Years ( Hep , 1939–1943) with Leonard Feather, Carlo Krahmer
- Great Britans ( Savoy , 1947) with Gene Ramey , Curly Russell , Cozy Cole , Denzil Best
- Midnight on Cloud 69 (Savoy, 1949/50) with Red Norvo , Tal Farlow , Chuck Wayne, John Levy , Charles Mingus , Denzil Best
- Lullaby of Birdland (Verve, 1949/50) with Margie Hyams and Chuck Wayne
- Alone Together (Concord, 1981) with Marian McPartland
- The Shearing Sound (Telarc, 1994)
- George Shearing, Alyn Shipton : Lullaby of Birdland , Continuum, New York 2004 1 , 2005, ISBN 0-8264-1724-8 (Bayou Jazz Life Series)
- Ian Carr , Digby Fairweather , Brian Priestley : Rough Guide Jazz. The ultimate guide to jazz music. 1700 artists and bands from the beginning until today. Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 1999, ISBN 3-476-01584-X .
- Richard Cook , Brian Morton : The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings . 8th edition. Penguin, London 2006, ISBN 0-14-102327-9 .
- Leonard Feather , Ira Gitler : The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz. Oxford University Press, New York 1999, ISBN 0-19-532000-X .
- Martin Kunzler : Jazz Lexicon. Volume 2: M – Z (= rororo-Sachbuch. Vol. 16513). 2nd Edition. Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg 2004, ISBN 3-499-16513-9 .
- Obituary by Peter Keepnews in The New York Times
- Obituary by Polly Anderson on National Public Radio
- George Shearing at Allmusic (English)
- George Shearing in the Internet Movie Database (English)
- Cf. Oliver Hochkeppel: Master of the Block Chords. On the death of jazz pianist George Shearing . Süddeutsche Zeitung of February 16, 2011, p. 13.
- Feather / Gitler, p. 597.
- Lullaby of Birdland , 2005, pp. 75-78
- Lullaby of Birdland , 2005, p. 194
- Report on Wall Street online
- M. Kunzler, p. 1056.
- Spiegel Online Kultur from February 15, 2011 ' Lullaby of Birdland': Jazz pianist George Shearing dies
- God is gone, says Jack Kerouac. on: STOCKPRESS.de
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Shearing, George Albert (full name)|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||American jazz pianist of British origin|
|DATE OF BIRTH||August 13, 1919|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||London , England|
|DATE OF DEATH||February 14, 2011|
|Place of death||New York City , New York|