This excellent LP is a must for George Shearing fans for it has the pianist's first recordings cut in the United States (eight trio sides from 1947 with either Gene Ramey or Curly Russell on bass and Cozy Cole or Denzil Best on drums) and his earliest quintet sides, eight numbers cut for the Discovery label in early 1949. Less than three weeks later Shearing's quintet would hit it big on their first MGM session with "September in the Rain." The Discovery date, which has the same personnel (vibraphonist Margie Hyams, guitarist Chuck Wayne, bassist John Levy and drummer Denzil Best), is quite appealing and the real birth of this classic group. Two songs ("Cherokee" and "Four Bars Short") are rare examples of Shearing playing jazz accordion. This album is recommended; hopefully Savoy will get around to reissuing the valuable material on CD eventually.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow