Live at the Forum, Bath 1992

George Shearing

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Live at the Forum, Bath 1992 Review

by Ken Dryden

George Shearing is heard with his longtime bassist Neil Swainson in a duo performance recorded in 1992 at the Forum in Bath, England, evidently originally for broadcast by the BBC. This well-produced concert is typical fare for the pianist, exploring favorites by other pianists (Bud Powell's "Wail," Dave Brubeck's "The Duke," and Erroll Garner's infrequently played "Loot to Boot"), standards like "All or Nothing at All" and "For Heaven's Sake" (the latter featuring Shearing's warm vocals), as well as a surprising medley of the folk tune "Kerry Dance" and "Kyrie From the B Minor Mass" by Johann Sebastian Bach. The pianist, who obviously has a high regard for his longtime bassist, opens the show with Swainson's lively waltz "Horizon" and mostly sits out Swainson's solo during the bop classic "Donna Lee." Shearing's amusing spoken introductions to several of the tunes are also included, especially his refusal to leave the stage until they play his inevitably requested hit, "Lullaby of Birdland," which is played in typically rollicking fashion, with several references to Baroque music. An interview conducted with Shearing two years later rounds out this highly recommended CD.

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