Lullaby of Birdland

Lullaby of Birdland : An Autobiography

By (author) George Shearing , By (author) Alyn Shipton

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Pianist George Shearing is that rare thing, a European jazz musician who became a household name in the US, as a result of the 'Shearing sound' - the recordings of his historic late 1940s quintet. Together with his unique 'locked hands' approach to playing the piano, Shearing's quintet with guitar and vibraphone in close harmony to his own playing revolutionised small group jazz, and ensured that after seven years as Melody Maker's top British pianist, he achieved even greater success in America. His compositions have been recorded by everyone from Sarah Vaughan to Miles Davis, and his best known pieces include Lullaby of Birdland, She and Conception. His story is all the more remarkable because Shearing was born blind. As a teenager he joined Claude Bampton's orchestra, and he recounts hilarious anecdotes about the trials and tribulations of this all blind group. By the start of the war years, Shearing was established as one of Britain's most popular and impressive jazz pianists - broadcasting regularly and playing and recording with Stephane Grappelli. In 1947 he emigrated to the US and started his landmark series of records with his quintet as well as performing classical pieces.

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  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 165.1 x 231.14 x 25.4mm | 476.27g
  • 01 May 2004
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd.
  • London
  • English
  • 0826460151
  • 9780826460158
  • 1,419,538

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Author Information

George Shearing is an internationally known jazz planist. He is still active on the international stage and in late 1999 filled Carnegie Hall for a gala celebration of his 80th birthday. Alyn Shipton is a writer and broadcaster on jazz.

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Review quote

"Together they [Shearing and Shipton] have produced a book that is tightly edited and true to the voice of its subject. Suffused with warmth and good humor this is recommended for larger jazz collections." -Library Journal

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