Smorgasbord Music Column – William Price King Meets Music Legends – #Jazz – Sir George Shearing – 1970s and Latin and Classical Styles

It is nine years since William Price King joined Smorgasbord to share music across the genres. We continue in 2023 with series sharing the lives and music of some of the great names in music over the last century

Part Four of the series exploring the life and music of one of the most important British Jazz musicians of the 20th century.

#Jazz – Sir George Shearing -The 1960s

We are now into the 60s and George Shearing moves into the decade where pop and rock were beginning to take over the charts.

George Shearing did well in the transition period in music when many less popular musicians and singers faded away. He was versatile and with several styles to offer his audiences, he spent the 60s building on his reputation and popularity.

He never forgot his classical roots and he began to introduce this element back into his own concerts as well as performing as a soloist with larger orchestras. His quintet would often feature as well later in the performance giving George the best of both worlds.

Here is George Shearing, playing with Robert Farnon and his Orchestra  How Beautiful Is Night.

There were 26 albums released in the 1960s most with Capitol records but also individual albums for other labels including George Shearing and the Montgomery Brothers for Jazzland. Also Jazz Moments with Blue Note in 1962, Smooth and Swinging for MGM also in 1962 and a live album for Request in 1966 that was not released until 2006 called Live Jazz from Club 15.

Here is No Hard Feelings from George Shearing and the Montgomery Brothers.

Apart from the classical and Jazz elements to his music and performances there was also another major facet to George Shearing’s music and that was the introduction of Afro-Cuban jazz in the 50s. Some of the Latin musicians of the 60s had been inspired by George’s pioneering work in this style and some of the artists that he worked with included Cal Tjader, Mongo Santamaria and Armando Paraza.

Here is an early recording of this style The George Shearing Quintet with Drume Negrita

In 1969 after a very lucrative partnership with Capitol Records which had included hit albums such as On The Sunny Side of the Stripand White Satin and collaborations with Nat King Cole, Nancy Wilson and Peggy Lee, George moved on and started his own label, Sheba, and released six albums between 1970 and 1973. He also began to phase out the Quintet working in trios or duos with his solo work with orchestras.

This move to his own label did lower his public profile to a degree without the marketing machine of a major label, but things began to change again when he signed with MPS Records which was a German jazz record label founded in 1968. MPS stands for “Musik Produktion Schwarzwald” (Music Production Black Forest). George recorded eleven albums with the label including The Reunion with Stephane Grappelli. Here is George Shearing with Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen on Bass and Irish jazz guitarist Louis Stewart with 500 Miles High from the MPS Trio Sessions

The 70s also were notable for an award received in May 1975, When George received an honorary degree of Doctor of Music from Westminster College in Salt Lake City.

George Shearing headed into the 80s signed to a new label Concord Jazz that was to prove to be a very popular and successful partnership with over 20 albums in the next 10 years.

Next week the 80s and two great artists join forces when Mel Torme and George Shearing hit the stage

Buy the music of George Shearing . Amazon

Additional material.
Sir George Shearing Bio

William Price King is an American jazz singer, crooner, and composer.

His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee Club and studied classical music. After graduation he went off to the Yale School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. From there he journeyed to New York where he created a jazz trio ‘Au Naturel’ which performed in some of the hottest venues in Manhattan including gigs on Broadway and the famous ‘Rainbow Room.’ These gigs opened doors for performances in Montreal and a European tour.

While touring Europe he met a lovely French lady, Jeanne Maïstre, who, a year later became his wife. King left the group ‘Au Naturel’ and settled in the south of France where he started a new life on the French Riviera, opening his own music school – the “Price King Ecole Internationale de Chant.” He has had the pleasure over the years of seeing many of his students excel as singers on a professional level, and some going on to become national celebrities. He continues to coach young singers today, in his spare time.

Blog– IMPROVISATION William Price King on Tumblr – Buy William’s music: William Price King iTunes – FacebookWilliam Price King – Twitter@wpkofficial
Regular Venue – Cave Wilson


As always William would love to receive your feedback… thanks Sally.


46 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Music Column – William Price King Meets Music Legends – #Jazz – Sir George Shearing – 1970s and Latin and Classical Styles

  1. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round up – 23rd – 29th January 2023 – Technology, Big Bands, Sir George Shearing, Podcast, PR for authors, Book Reviews, New Releases, The Brain, Funnies | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

I would be delighted to receive your feedback (by commenting, you agree to Wordpress collecting your name, email address and URL) Thanks Sally

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