The legendary George Shearing Quintet brings you the jazz Christmas CD for the ages. Included are favorites like "White Christmas" & "Winter Wonderland," plus the jaunty "Ding Dong Merrily on High" and a setting of Warlock's haunting lullaby "Balulalow."
The venerable British pianist rings in the holiday season with exquisite arrangements of carols, old and new, common and rare, on Christmas with The George Shearing Quintet. Shearing's bandmates for this charming session are guitarist Reg Schwager, vibraphonist Don Thompson, bassist Neil Swainson and drummer Dennis Mackrel. The material ranges from such familiar chestnuts as "White Christmas" and "The Christmas Song," to lesser-known songs of the season such as "Donkey Carol" by British choral composer John Rutter, and "Snowfall" by Claude Thornhill. Shearing's arrangements wed a swinging groove to the clarity and intimacy of chamber music and often make unexpected references to other popular jazz tunes.
Born in London in 1939, George Shearing began playing the piano at the age of three. His only formal music training was at the Linden Lodge School for the Blind. However, Shearing also absorbed the lessons of the masters of jazz piano from records so thoroughly that he was soon voted the top British jazz pianist in the annual Melody Maker poll for seven consecutive years. Shearing moved to New York in 1947, and established his trademark "Shearing Sound" with his quintet of piano, guitar, vibraphone, bass and drums.