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#1534244 - 10/12/10 11:07 PM Re: George Shearing [Re: carey]
Playagain Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 239
HI, Carey,
Wow, I would have loved to have been there to hear him play! What a neat birthday celebration for him and for everyone!

I saw him once about 25 years ago--he was fantastic, and he took requests from the audience. My daughter's favorite song was "Roger's Bumblebee," when she was little, and she kept yelling out that name for him to play it. He turned toward her and smiled at her and played it. smile Neat memories!

It's amazing that he could play for 12 hours! And at 86 years old! So neat that he plays like 50 years ago! He is very inspiring.

Kathy
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#1534351 - 10/13/10 02:12 AM Re: George Shearing [Re: btb]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Hi c/bear,

Thanks for the Over The Rainbow score ... Shearing interpretation.

Page 3 (top right) would suggest that there might be other pages ... I’m battling to reconcile your playing with the score sent ... there seem to be about 12 measures missing up front ... it’s only at m3 that it matched your playing ... at m5 and m6 you roll the chords and at m8 there is a slowing down for the tricky LH contribution.

But thanks again for the score ... I’ve played through a few times ... it’s only at m7 that the Theme comes to light as a one-note sequence.

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#1534366 - 10/13/10 02:39 AM Re: George Shearing [Re: btb]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Started out going gaga about George Shearing’s interpretation of David Raksin’s “Laura” when the first page was presented ... glad to report that there has been a follow-up ... Rui has obviously mastered p1 and has asked for the 2nd page ...
no sooner said, than done.

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#1534370 - 10/13/10 02:42 AM Re: George Shearing [Re: btb]
Rui725 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 953
I've actually been a long time admirer of this particular rendition. I came across this by accident for the first time Junior year in high school. One of my favorite Jazz standards. =)

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#1534390 - 10/13/10 04:16 AM Re: George Shearing [Re: Cinnamonbear]
beeboss Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/18/09
Posts: 1171
Loc: uk south
Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear

Ha-ha! THAT's what I'm talkin' about!!! laugh That is GORGEOUS, beeboss! Beautiful ideas throughout!!! Man, you can PLAY! You really take it around! grin

Very nicely recorded, too, BTW! Top notch mix, and I love the clarity of the drums and the bass, especially the bass, which is often a muddy mess in jazz combo recordings! It sounds so good, I have to ask--it is a big ol' stand up acoustic? Thank you so much for sharing this one!


Thanks Cinnamonbear. It was a long time ago so I don't remember exactly what piano it was. Steinway B I think.
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#1534506 - 10/13/10 09:58 AM Re: George Shearing [Re: beeboss]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3722
Loc: Rockford, IL
Ha-ha, beeboss! The piano did sound wonderful, and I especially liked the deep bass touches you did in the solo section. But, I was actually asking about the stand up string bass! blush Reason being, with all the electric innovations on acoustic instruments, I wondered if it was simply the real wooden thing mic'd and recorded well, or if it was some new-fangled string bass instrument.

Thanks for pulling it out of the archives! I've listened to it several times, already!
_________________________
I may not be fast,
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#1534565 - 10/13/10 11:21 AM Re: George Shearing [Re: btb]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3722
Loc: Rockford, IL
Originally Posted By: btb
Hi c/bear,

Thanks for the Over The Rainbow score ... Shearing interpretation.

Page 3 (top right) would suggest that there might be other pages ... I’m battling to reconcile your playing with the score sent ... there seem to be about 12 measures missing up front ... it’s only at m3 that it matched your playing ... at m5 and m6 you roll the chords and at m8 there is a slowing down for the tricky LH contribution.

But thanks again for the score ... I’ve played through a few times ... it’s only at m7 that the Theme comes to light as a one-note sequence.



Well, btb, there's a 3 at the top of the second page of "Laura," too! grin

Since reconcilliation is one of my prime interests in life, let me see if I can help...

First of all, as far as notes/chords go, I tried to be very, very careful to play all of them, and only the ones printed, based on Pianoloverus's assertion that this "simple" arrangement was not very special! The only note I changed was in m24, where, for the last LH note in that measure, I went up to the Ab instead of back down to the F. I thought it set up an "Here's another idea coming" better that way, and kept the "upward hope momentum" going (which is why I played that note "ppp," since hope is such an ethereal thing when it is missing the substance of faith to support it). I also wanted to add a low, low Eb at the end of the piece, but I resisted, because it wasn't in the score. Normally, I would have done such a thing! smile Also, just so you know, at m26, I played the grace note/eighth note figure in triplet fashion, and in the second to the last measure (m35), played the eighth notes in quarter note time.

In order to find the pulse for the movement of the "song" the way I felt it needed to be played, I followed the eighth notes. So, if you count it in 8, with an eighth note getting one beat, that might help clear up the reading.

At m5 (and m13), I paused at the 2nd eighth note, because if I played it straight, that whole turn became a muddy mess. Pausing and then running up to the melody chord sounded cleaner, and definitely meaningful (to my ears and heart, anyway...) and gave the song forward and upward momentum there (as if to say, "someday, I'm going over that rainbow!").

At m8, I paused for the completion of the "verse," and to let the transition notes (what you called the "tricky LH contribution") make their own statement, and leading the listener (hopefully) to a softer touch on the first melody chord that starts verse 2, but with a more forcefully dramatic touch on the second melody chord and following, as if to say, "Did you hear me??? I said...!"

If you want to know the back story, I punched the first chord of the piece to say, "I'm angry. This is a beautiful arrangement." Then, I punched the second chord of verse 2 to say, "I'm still angry! I'm saying it again! Variation on the theme, buster!" Today, I would play it differently.

I'm not angry at Pianoloverus, anymore. Well, today... Yet. wink

So, in the interest of education and fair use of copyrighted materials, let's try it this way,

Over the Rainbow--George Shearing arr., played by me

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8...




Hope this helps!

--Andy


Edited by Cinnamonbear (10/13/10 12:33 PM)
Edit Reason: added some clarification
_________________________
I may not be fast,
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#1534574 - 10/13/10 11:38 AM Re: George Shearing [Re: Cinnamonbear]
s_winitsky Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/27/10
Posts: 61

That is a really nice version of over the rainbow. I really liked the slow tempo you used. I think a lot can be learned from the way shearing voices the chords, and the substitutions he makes. And if this really was originally published in 1954, I think its pretty ground breaking for those days. Especially considering it was published for mass consumption. Somehow I have a more modern edition of this (though it looks like the notes are the same.)



Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
Well, either because of Pianoloverus, or in spite of him (that's a friendly punch in the arm, PL'us!) I played hookey from work today and practiced and practiced until I could play Over The Rainbow well enough to record it tonight. So, here it is--my contribution to the "'George Shearing Interpretations for Piano" Book Series E-cital."

Over The Rainbow, by Harburg and Arlen, "George Shearing Interpretations for Piano," book No.1, [the red one...] (New York: Robbins Music Corp., 1954).

This rendition is fairly faithful to the simple printing on the two pages. smirk (Sorry, PL... I'm still letting off steam!) I didn't add anything, but I did fiddle with the timing as the music led me, and I rolled some chords here and there, and I changed one note. But, like my grandma always said, the notes on the page are just to get you started! I would like to dedicate this recording to our PW friend ChopinAddict, because I think she likes this kind of stuff, and she's been so encouraging to me when I post my recordings.

This is played in my living room on the Haddorff 56" upright, recently tuned to the EBVT III temperament by Bill Bremmer, RPT. The recording is not enhanced with reverb or EQ or anything. This is the way the Haddorff sounds. Sorry about the microphone hiss. There are a few unisons out of tune already in the upper registers (loose pins), and the bridge is cracked at D6, so that one is way out of tune until we can get that fixed. Also, my apologies to Jerry Groot, RPT, because a week ago, I promised him I would take the action out and start replacing the hammer butt plates to keep from destroying the hammer butts by playing with wobbly hammers. (If you listen closely, you can hear those clackers!) I am a day late, so I am sure in his eyes, I am a low-life weasle for not keeping my word. But this was an emergency!!! Sorry, Jer!

--Andy

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#1534610 - 10/13/10 12:29 PM Re: George Shearing [Re: s_winitsky]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3722
Loc: Rockford, IL
Hey, Mr. Winitsky! Thanks! I'm not sure how groundbreaking the publication was, really. I've learned a little, lately, about the publication of popular music in the first half of the 20th cenutury.* At that time (1954) there was something of a resurgence of people buying pianos for their homes--pianos of the spinet variety! Cheap and affordable. People were still listening to radio and records and still making their own music in the living room. There was demand for accessible, printed, popular music, and George Shearing's stylings certainly fit the bill in a number of ways! An aside, by way of illustration here--I happen to have an original copy of the "Mary Poppins Souvenir Song Album" from 1965 (music and lyrics by Richard and Robert Sherman). According to Wikipedia, the film was "the #1 moneymaker of 1965." I would not be surprised to find that my dad bought this book at the movie theater when the movie was over. My sister and I sat at the piano bench while he played all of the songs in that book, over and over again! It was BETTER than TV (which was black and white in our house at the time)! grin The arrangements are similarly accessible, and yet very thoughtfully rich, full and colorful, and stand on their own played note for note, as these "simple" Shearing arrangements do.

I'll leave it to the true historians to flesh all of that out, but that's my impression, anyway, and I hope it paints a picture for you.

BTW, I listened to your rendition of the Lou Stein arr. of Over The Rainbow on your Piano Society page. You play very cleanly! I like the way you bring out the rag elements in that version. Have you posted anything at PW, yet?

--Andy


_________
* Please see "Haddorff Postcard No.5" in Member Recordings (clickable link)


Edited by Cinnamonbear (10/13/10 12:43 PM)
_________________________
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but at least I'm slow.

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#1534656 - 10/13/10 01:26 PM Re: George Shearing [Re: Cinnamonbear]
s_winitsky Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/27/10
Posts: 61
Hey Thanks Andy!

I remember at the time thinking that Lou Stein did an OK job sort of moving between stride, open voicings, and walking bass lines. I agree with these arrangements being accessible yet rich and colorful. Something my piano teacher would say about coming up with arrangements, its best to start out with the simplest yet effective arrangement possible, and then slowly build upon it.

Anyway I also think the Shearing arrangement is just as effective today as it was in 1954 smile

Stan

Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear

BTW, I listened to your rendition of the Lou Stein arr. of Over The Rainbow on your Piano Society page. You play very cleanly! I like the way you bring out the rag elements in that version. Have you posted anything at PW, yet?

--Andy


_________
* Please see "Haddorff Postcard No.5" in Member Recordings (clickable link)

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#1534801 - 10/13/10 05:12 PM Re: George Shearing [Re: btb]
RealPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 2281
Loc: NYC
This discussion reminded me that I used to have a book of Boogie Woogie, stride, etc. from the 1950s...Meade Lux Lewis, Pete Johnson, that whole crowd...and the printed music was HARD! Fast stride looks easy on the page, but it really isn't! I don't think they dumbed it down at all for the masses.

I think I loaned the book to someone and never saw it again...I have one photocopy of Cafe' Society Rag from that book, and used to play it in concert.

Nice Shearing arrangement, by the way. I always admired his tone. The epitomy of cool, as well!
_________________________
Joe

www.josephkubera.com

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#1535111 - 10/14/10 03:24 AM Re: George Shearing [Re: btb]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Made a close analysis of page 1 of Over The Rainbow (Shearing interpretation) in an attempt to put a finger on the special quality inherent in the blind pianist’s style ... for what it’s worth ... he makes great use of lowering the leading note and 5th ... to effect the growly offbeat sound (some 45 such notes) ... and yet never changes the true Eb scale notes to articulate the top RH melody.

Just throwing in my twopence worth.

PS Grateful thanks c/bear for page 1

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#1535659 - 10/14/10 11:15 PM Re: George Shearing [Re: btb]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Very nice rendition Andy. I love that song anyway. Lips are zipped on the hammers and butt plates.... Mum's the word... fer now anyway..... grin
_________________________
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Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1535675 - 10/14/10 11:44 PM Re: George Shearing [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3722
Loc: Rockford, IL
Thanks, Jer. I took the action out of the piano Tuesday night, so I can't play it anymore for now! Those wobbly hammers are soon to be a thing of the past!

btb: Since you are clever enough, could you please scan and post the score of the Arlen arrangement you referred to? Thanks!
_________________________
I may not be fast,
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#1535696 - 10/15/10 12:59 AM Re: George Shearing [Re: btb]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
At c/bear’s request ... page 1 of Over The Rainbow by Harold Arlen and EY Harburg ... P2 to follow later.


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#1537083 - 10/17/10 06:33 AM Re: George Shearing [Re: btb]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3722
Loc: Rockford, IL
After doing "Over The Rainbow," I just had to play another Shearing arrangement! I give you:

I'm In The Mood For Love by McHugh and Fields, "George Shearing Interpretations for Piano," book No.1, [the red one, again...] (New York: Robbins Music Corp., 1954).

Since the Haddorff is in pieces on my livingroom floor for the wobbly hammer eradication project, I played this on The Mighty Lester, 36" spinet. It, too, is tuned to EBVT III, but was last touched for tuning in April.

I'd like to record this one again, when the Haddorff is ready, to see if I can get a little more sultry tone out of the bigger piano. Still, this was a fun arrangement to play. Hope you like it! grin

P.S. Crossposted in Member Recordings and "My Piano In EBVT III (Tuner/Tech Forum Thread)".


Edited by Cinnamonbear (10/17/10 12:19 PM)
_________________________
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#1537152 - 10/17/10 10:07 AM Re: George Shearing [Re: Cinnamonbear]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19094
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
After doing "Over The Rainbow," I just had to play another Shearing arrangement! I give you:

I'm In The Mood For Love by McHugh and Fields, "George Shearing Interpretations for Piano," book No.1, [the red one, again...] (New York: Robbins Music Corp., 1954).

I played the Tatum(shortened/simplified) version of that at an assisted living facility. When I announced the piece some old guy in the back shouted "You bet we are!"

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#1537187 - 10/17/10 11:19 AM Re: George Shearing [Re: btb]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
There’s nothing quite like the real McCoy ...
McShearing’s own composition "Lullaby of Birdland" ...
Here’s the first page


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#1537194 - 10/17/10 11:29 AM Re: George Shearing [Re: btb]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
And the 2nd page

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#1537198 - 10/17/10 11:32 AM Re: George Shearing [Re: pianoloverus]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3722
Loc: Rockford, IL
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
After doing "Over The Rainbow," I just had to play another Shearing arrangement! I give you:

I'm In The Mood For Love by McHugh and Fields, "George Shearing Interpretations for Piano," book No.1, [the red one, again...] (New York: Robbins Music Corp., 1954).

I played the Tatum(shortened/simplified) version of that at an assisted living facility. When I announced the piece some old guy in the back shouted "You bet we are!"


LOL! Aren't we all? grin That's hilarious, PL!
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#1537228 - 10/17/10 12:38 PM Re: George Shearing [Re: Cinnamonbear]
Playagain Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 239
Loved it, Cinnamonbear! What a beautiful rendition! You play it beautifully!

I love these songs. Play more! Play more! smile

Kathy
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#1537873 - 10/18/10 09:34 AM Re: George Shearing [Re: Playagain]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3722
Loc: Rockford, IL
Thanks, Kathy!

But where are all of the other e-cital participants?! crazy

Where are all you guys with a digital recorder that have these songs in your back pocket, ready to pull out to play at a moment's notice?

Hmmmm??? grin
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#1537875 - 10/18/10 09:37 AM Re: George Shearing [Re: btb]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3722
Loc: Rockford, IL
Hey, btb:
Regarding "Lullaby of Birdland." That arrangement sure looks simple. But does it sound simple? (I bet not...) smile
_________________________
I may not be fast,
but at least I'm slow.

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#1537928 - 10/18/10 11:18 AM Re: George Shearing [Re: btb]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Lullaby of Birdland makes interesting analysis ... as an original composition by George Shearing , the blind pianist was not bound (as with his interpretations) by the set tempo of other composers ... we notice a propensity to slide the last note over the bar line of certain measures to link with the 2nd note of the next measure ... this gives this work a unique lilt ... having just played the first 8 measures (Theme) some 20 times ... only but slowly is the Shearing rhythmic magic captured.

Quite right c/bear ... Lullaby of Birdland looks easy (easy enough to find the notes) ... but it’s another thing to get with the particular groove of the Shearing rhythm.

The key is G major ... but you would never guess so ... the keynote gets tucked away underpinning certain RH chords (eg m1 and m3) ... G comes to light as an offbeat LH chord at the end.

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#1537966 - 10/18/10 12:01 PM Re: George Shearing [Re: Cinnamonbear]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19094
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Cinnamonbear
Hey, btb:
Regarding "Lullaby of Birdland." That arrangement sure looks simple. But does it sound simple? (I bet not...) smile
Why wouldn't it sound simple?(From my point of view too simple to be a great arrangement) Do you think Shearing performed pieces in arrangements(in terms of complexity or length) like these in concert?

Going back to my original post in this thread, I think the Shearing arrangement of "Over the Rainbow" really can't compare to the Jarrett arrangement I posted(which was transcribed from an actual Jarrett performance) in terms of beauty. Nor do I think it was meant to be comparable. Just like the two page Tatum version of "I'm in the Mood for Love" I played at the assisted living facility wouldn't compare to Tatum's actual performance of the piece.

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#1538532 - 10/19/10 02:34 AM Re: George Shearing [Re: pianoloverus]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3722
Loc: Rockford, IL
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
[...]Why wouldn't it sound simple?(From my point of view too simple to be a great arrangement) [...]


I think I feel another song coming on...
_________________________
I may not be fast,
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#1538550 - 10/19/10 03:40 AM Re: George Shearing [Re: pianoloverus]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3722
Loc: Rockford, IL
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
[...] Do you think Shearing performed pieces in arrangements(in terms of complexity or length) like these in concert?[...]


Of course not. Same as what you said about your Tatum. Like my grandma said, the notes on the page are just to get you started.

My point is that these arrangements are accessible AND lovely. Just because they are simple does not make them worthless or marginal, and in my opinion they are immenently likeable and playable.

What I would like to know is: who writes these arrangements? I mean, who was the poor slob who sat down and put the pen to the paper and made it come out in a form that approximates, and is recognized as, Shearing? How was it done in the real world back then (1954)? Certainly, Shearing didn't work from charts. Did the other musicians who played with him? If so, who wrote the charts? And who edited them for publication?
_________________________
I may not be fast,
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#1538588 - 10/19/10 06:37 AM Re: George Shearing [Re: btb]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Needed to be reminded of Art Tatum’s jazz style and came across this CD Jazz 4 ...
with Art playing St. Louis Blues ...
thought some of you chaps might like to be reminded of these jazz greats.

Jazz 4.

Frank Sinatra ... You Make Me feel So Young
Duke Ellington ... Honeysuckle Rose
Louis Armstrong ... Mack the Knife
Glenn Miller ... Chatanooga Choo Choo
Tommy Dorsey ... Opus One
Scott Joplin ... Maple Leaf Rag
Lena Horne ... I Can’t Give You Anything But Love
Dizzy Gillespie ... Blue ‘N’ Boogie
Jimmy Lunceford ... Shoemakers Holliday
Art Tatum ... St. Louis Blues
Django Reinhardt ... I Saw Stars
Svend Asmussen ... Satin Doll
Mills Brothers ... Music Maestro Please
Billie Holliday ... When Your Lover Has Gone
Cannon Ball ... No Greater Love
Miles Davis ... Night in Tunisia
Cab Calloway ... Jungle Swing
Carlie Parker ... Slow Boat To China
Ella Fitzgerald ... That Old Black Magic
Al Jolson ... I’m sitting On The Top Of The World
Benny Goodman ... Somebody Stole My Gal
Nat King Cole ... It’s Only A Paper Moon
Jimmy Dorsey ... Imagination
Woody Herman ... Blue Stations
Count Basie ... Jumpin’ At The Woodside

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#1541378 - 10/22/10 11:20 PM Re: George Shearing [Re: btb]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3722
Loc: Rockford, IL
Since btb was so kind to post the score of "Lullaby of Birdland," and since I was stupid enough to say, "looks simple, but I bet it doesn't sound simple..."

...well, I tried it. It's still not "under my hands," as they say, but, here you are anyway:

Lullaby of Birdland

Here's what I did--First time through, I played it exactly as it's written on the page (as close as I could get it). At the repeat, I jazzed it up, the way it felt to me like it ought to be played. The only notes I changed were in the bass line. After the repeat, I played the B section again, but in a simple variation that seemed to fit the simplicity of the score, then finished with the second ending pretty much as written. All of this follows my grandma's principle, "The notes on the page are just to get you started!"

If you want, you can follow along with the score that btb posted, above. Sure, I missed a note here and there, but the question remains, "Does this sound as simple as it looks on the page?"

--Andy


Edited by Cinnamonbear (10/22/10 11:25 PM)
_________________________
I may not be fast,
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#1541440 - 10/23/10 01:23 AM Re: George Shearing [Re: Cinnamonbear]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17666
Loc: Victoria, BC
Andy :

Although I've never particularly liked that tune, you did a great job of playing it. Thanks.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190 in satin ebony

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New Topics - Multiple Forums
Tips for playing a piece through
by Hemmingway
04/16/14 06:40 AM
Temperature and tuning
by Beemer
04/16/14 04:46 AM
Tired Fingers
by adanepst
04/16/14 01:45 AM
Bechstein 7
by PhilipInChina
04/16/14 01:07 AM
Premier Piano of New York
by FenderJazzMan
04/15/14 11:58 PM
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