George Shearing

Jazz Legend

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George Shearing performs both solo and in a duo with bassist Brian Torff during this 1981 concert at Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena, CA. This program was originally titled "The Art of George Shearing" when it aired, probably on public television. In spite of a few sound distractions caused by problems with Torff's microphone and at least on piece of equipment falling during the opening song, the performances easily overcome these distractions. Shearing, who worked regularly in a duo with Torff for over three years, enjoys having a partner who can play his instrument at a high level. Both men play intricate lines in Shearing's extended arrangement of "Love for Sale." Purposely stumbling over the song's title during his announcement, the blind pianist humorously introduces "On a Clear Day" as an Impressionistic piece. Torff's arco bass adds a delay pedal, giving it a wave-like effect behind Shearing's haunting introduction. At this point, the bassist leaves the stage as Shearing sings and plays a warm rendition of "Have You Met Miss Jones," followed by a thoughtful solo instrumental of "Close Enough for Love" (which is incorrectly identified on the DVD package as a reprise of "Have You Met Miss Jones"). The duo closes this brief program (approximately 27 minutes) with a rollicking treatment of "Up a Lazy River." The camera angles and audio are excellent, though the video is not as sharp as one would expect for a 1981 tape.

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