Lullaby Of Birdland - The George Shearing Story

George Shearing talks to Alyn Shipton about at his long and distinguished career in music.



In the second part of his 'aural scrapbook' of reminiscences with Alyn Shipton, George Shearing recalls his arrival in America, and his playing on 52nd Street with Ella Fitzgerald. He encounters such great fellow pianists as Erroll Garner and Bud Powell, and in 1949, launches his famous Quintet.


What was the basis of the famous 'Shearing Sound'? In this programme George Shearing deminstrates to Alyn Shipton how vibes player Marge Hyams and guitarist Chuck Wayne were vital to his hits such as Autumn Leaves. He also explores baroque sounds with Gary Burton, and begins his partnership with the great Mel Torme.

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Concluding his conversations at the piano with Alyn Shipton, George Shearing discusses his famous partnership with Mel Tormé, his decision to break up his Quintet in 1978, and some of his more recent projects, before taking the Quintet back to Birdland for a triumphal return in 2000. His latest album with John Pizzerelli is also covered, which took George back into the jazz charts over fifty years after his first hit with September in the Rain.