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Monday, December 3, 2018

Jazz Moments - George Shearing

Jazz Moments
The George Shearing Trio
Produced by Tom Morgan
Cover Photo / Capitol Photo Studio / Ken Veeder
Engineer: Frank Abby
Thus album was recorded in New York City on June 20 and 21, 1962
Demensions In Jazz
Capitol Records ST 1827

Available from online vendors so I will not be posting a sample. Presented here to share jacket notes excerpts and Billboard article.

From the back cover: The Trio consists of George plus the celebrated rhythm duo of drummer Vernel Fournier and the late string bass star, Israel Crosby... both of whom gained considerable reputation for their contributions to the famed Ahmad Jamal group. Oddly enough, it is here, in his last recording, that some of Crosby's rare solo work can be heard, as he and Fournier complement Shearing's inventive playing with impeccable rhythmic backing throughout the album.

Also from the back cover an excerpt from Downbeat - September 27, 1962: When Ahmad Jamal broke up his trio last spring, George Shearing wasted no time in hiring Jamal's bassist, Israel Crosby. While still in his native Britain, Shearing first heard Crosby on Blues Of Israel, recorded with Gene Krupa and released in this country on Decca in the late 30s. He closely followed the bassist's career from that time.

Early last month, while the Shearing quintet was at the University of Utah's jazz workshop, Crosby was not in the group; he had suffered blinding headaches and blurred vision and had taken a two-week leave of absence to return to Chicago, his home, for a hospital checkup. But before the group left the university, Shearing had received a letter from the bassist in which he said he'd soon be well enough to return to the quintet.

But Crosby never returned; he died of a blood clot on the heart in Chicago's West Side Veterans Administration Hospital on Aug. 11. He was 43.

"As much rapport as I had with Al McKibbon," Shearing said, referring to the bassist who worked with him for several years, "I had as much with Israel – and he was only with me a short time. If he'd been with me longer, it would have been greater.

"Fortunately, we made this trio album at Basin Street East. It was the fastest album I ever mad. He played bass parts that were so beautiful; you could never write anything as good. He was one of the most inspiring musicians I ever played with.

When asked who would take his place, Shearing said, "I don't think anybody is going to take his place; nobody took Art Tatum's place..."

From Billboard -Feburary 9, 1963: Capitol Jumps Back Into Jazz Stressing Lesser Known Names - Capitol Records is back in the jazz business with a vengeance. The label is kicking off a new line of album product featuring modern jazz artists that will be keynoted by youth and individuality.

The new series on the West Coast major is being referred to as "Dimensions In Jazz" and it will share a special trade-mark space with the usual Capitol logo.

Emphasis for the "Dimensions In Jazz" line will be new talent. The label is centering on lesser known names on the general market. Men like Jimmie Rowles, Joe Bucci, Jack Sheldon and John Grey are certainly not new to those familiar with the jazz trade.

Rowles is the pianist on the West Coast who has arranged for and recorded with Peggy Lee and a variety of top line artists. His first Capitol set in the new series features a quartet in "Kinda Groovy." Sheldon was in the vanguard during the popularity of the so-called West Coast school of jazz. The trumpeter has always been among the top clique of studio jazz men and has played with the leading jazz musicians on the Coast. Bucci is a jazz organist who scored impressively at the Newport Festival last year. His first set is "Wild About Bassie." John Grey is a newcomer on guitar who has played with a good many group. Buddy DeFranco among them.

Leading the new "Dimensions In Jazz" series is an album which showcases George Shearing playing minus his quartet. The pianist, instead, is showcased with an all-star rhythm team that includes the late Israel Crosby and Vernel Fournier. These two men make up to thirds of the Ahmad Jamal trio.

Makin' Whoopee
What Is This Thing Called Love?
What's New?
Like Someone In Love
Heart Of Winter
Blues In 9/4
When Sunny Gets Blue
Wonder Why
The Mood Is Mellow
Gone With The Wind
It Could Happen To You.

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