George Shearing

Swing Era

  • AllMusic Rating
    7
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

This very generous 34-selection DVD opens up with five songs from the George Shearing Quintet as immortalized in a visual format known as Snader Telescriptions -- called by TVParty.com "television's very first music videos." These are fascinating clips that display the look and feel of having popped out of a 1930s or 1940s film. Mostly products of the '50s predating MTV by a few decades, there actually are some non-Snader film clips tucked into the compilation as well. George Shearing's "Conception" boasts a youth and vitality as well as captured energy -- the vibes, guitar, and piano creatively preserved by these early cameras, the medium of these live performances as valuable as the takes themselves. George Shearing is photogenic and the members of the band he leads have no problem translating to this brave new world. Like "Conception," "Swedish Pastry" starts off with the image of Shearing's feet tapping near the piano pedals and lots of great shots of the members of this quintet generating their unique magic. Unfortunately, there is no commentary discussing these valuable takes, nor are there any "bonus" features, so what you get on this collection are these moving "snapshots" of music that have truly been lost in time. There are additional videos in this collection from Mel Tormé, the Slam Stewart Trio, Slim Gaillard, the Bobcats, Ralph Flanagan & His Orchestra, and Tony Pastor & His Orchestra. The non-Snader Telescriptions mentioned earlier include Gaillard's "Laguna" from his Jack Rieger-directed film from 1947, O'Voutie O'Rooney, and the Slam Stewart Trio's "Oh Me, Oh My, Oh Josh" from director Arthur Leonard's 1945 motion picture Boy! What a Girl. Mel Tormé is represented by clips from Studio Telescriptions as well as the visuals from the Snader company. "Big Noise from Winnetka" is credited only to drummer Bobby Haggart and standup bassist Ray Bauduc of the Bobcats, and has the members of that rhythm section jamming on their own. Some of this material seems to have been re-released on VHS in the 1990s on M.C.E.G. Virgin Vision, and there's no denying its importance. Great stuff worthy of many television documentaries, with each and every clip highly entertaining.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1
2
3
4
5
6
feat: Mel Tormé
7
feat: Mel Tormé
8
feat: Mel Tormé
9
feat: Mel Tormé
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
feat: Bob Cats
18
feat: Bob Cats
19
feat: Bob Cats
20
feat: Bob Cats
21
feat: Bob Cats
22
feat: Bob Cats
23
feat: Bob Cats
24
feat: Bob Cats
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
blue highlight denotes track pick