HAWK / George Shearing

Complete Savoy Trio and Quintet Sessions

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AllMusic Review by

The sides referred to here are those that the George Shearing Trio (with Gene Ramey and Cozy Cole on one and Curly Russell and Denzil Best on others) cut for Discovery (which became Savoy) in 1948 -- plus a solo for MGM and the quintet sides for Savoy in 1949 and 1950 (with Marjorie Hyams, Chuck Wayne, John Levy, and Denzil Best). Bop is the language spoken here folks -- fluid, collected, and virtuosic. Shearing had reached his complete mastery of the piano as an instrument of continuous melodic and harmonic invention at this point in his career, and he is as dominant as Oscar Peterson in his busy attack. Shearing's reliance on the middle registers on these tunes -- check "Have You Met Miss Jones?" and "Buccaneer's Bounce" for dynamite solos played entirely inside them -- is remarkable, and reveals an attempt to create a new harmonic architecture across a smaller chromatic spectrum that could be manipulated by other instruments (vibes and guitar). It was ingenious and took the edges off the high-register notions of bop pianistry. Though there is plenty of his other work here too, this period is where he introduced and perfected that methodology. Simply put, Shearing's trademark lyricism and elegant voicings, his shimmering ostinatos, and his sprightly counterpoint are all in evidence on these 48 swinging sides. It was a brilliant period of growth and arrival for Shearing and this set, with decent sound and adequate if not spectacular liner notes, is highly recommended.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:58
2 2:58
3 2:38
4 3:00
5 2:38
6 3:08
7 3:01
8 3:08
9 2:44
10 2:22
11 3:03
12 3:08
13 3:20
14 2:48
15 3:12
16 3:10
17 2:57
18 2:48
19 2:48
20 2:56
21 2:34
22 2:40
23 2:47
24 3:08

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:15
2 2:51
3 2:59
4 3:20
5 3:04
6 2:59
7 3:06
8 2:11
9 2:31
10 2:55
11 2:48
12 2:57
13 2:33
14 2:42
15
2:37
16 3:18
17 3:12
18 3:06
19 2:37
20 2:43
21 2:57
22 3:07
23 2:24
24 2:52
blue highlight denotes track pick