George Shearing

Out of the Woods

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Vibraphonist Gary Burton has never really been known as a composer; in fact, he wrote very little for his own groups through the years. That fact makes this obscure LP a bit of a surprise, for Burton composed and arranged all 12 selections for the George Shearing Quintet, which on this set also includes guitarist John Gray, either Ralph Pena or Gene Cherico on bass and drummer Shelly Manne, plus four woodwinds. Quite a few of the pieces are influenced by classical music, Burton performs on the lyre on "Lyric Ballad"; Shearing doubles a bit on harpsichord; and "Dialogue for Two Pianos" has both the leader and Burton on pianos. None of the pieces would catch on, and there is a lightweight feel to much of the music, but there are some interesting moments too. Definitely a unique entry in the discography of Gary Burton.