George Shearing's solo piano CD Favorite Things doesn't hide his early background in the study of classical music, but at times it celebrates it. The only truly arranged piece on the album, "My Favorite Things," incorporates a portion of a Scarlatti sonata, while "Not You Again" hints at Tchaikovsky. "Taking a Chance on Love" was inspired by Brahms' E major Intermezzo, while Artie Shaw's "Moonray" has the character of a Baroque fugue. Many of the other tracks have an impressionistic flavor, especially the dreamy take of Dave Brubeck's "Summer Song" and the haunting treatment of Matt Dennis' "Angel Eyes." The pianist adds a warm, friendly vocal to the finale, "It Amazes Me." George Shearing was clearly enjoying himself during the two days of studio sessions which produced this CD; fans of solo jazz piano are invited to do the same.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden