Born blind in Battersea, London George Shearing (1919-2011) was one of the most famous and commercially successful musicians in the history of jazz. He was member of an all-blind band during the 1930s and playing in pubs and hotels in London. In 1940 he joined Harry Parry's dance band and performed with Stephane Grappelli. Shearing settled in USA in the late 1940s and here formed his quintet showcasing his distinctive block chord style and fluid bebop lines. The quintet quickly became a popular club and festival draw and scored hits with 'September in the Rain' and his own 'Lullaby Of Birdland'. From the late 1960s, Shearing would focus more on smaller group work and became a favourite duo partner for many top singers, having already produced successful albums with Nat 'King' Cole and Peggy Lee. It was with Mel Torme that he made some of his finest recordings of the 1980s. Shearing remained active into the 21st Century and was knighted in 2007. He passed away aged 91 in 2011.
Find Out More
The London Years 1939-1943 (Hep 1995)
The Complete Capitol Live Recordings (Mosaic – recordings 1958-1963)
An Evening With George Shearing & Mel Torme (Concord 1982)