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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Guess Who With Three Clues (43 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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arthur stead
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In 1949, I formed my own quintet. Jack Kerouac heard me play in Birdland and describes the performance in Part Two of On the Road.
Arthur Stead
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arthur stead
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My interest in classical music resulted in some performances with concert orchestras in the 1950s and 1960s, and my solos frequently drew upon the music of Satie, Delius, and Debussy for inspiration.
Arthur Stead
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arthur stead
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I became known for using the “locked hands style,” i.e. a block chord voicing built directly below the melody to create a 4-part harmony, with an additional fifth part that doubles the melody an octave lower.
Arthur Stead
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arthur stead
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In 1956, I became a naturalized citizen of the United States, continuing to play with various incarnations of my quintet until disbanding the group in 1978.
Arthur Stead
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arthur stead
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Later, I played in a trio, as a soloist, and increasingly in a duo. Among my collaborations were sets with Wes Montgomery, Marian McPartland, Jim Hall, and Hank Jones.
Arthur Stead
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arthur stead
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Having previously recorded for Discovery, MGM and Capital, in 1979 I signed with Concord Records, and recorded for the label with Mel Tormé. This collaboration garnered us two Grammys, one in 1983 and another in 1984.
Arthur Stead
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arthur stead
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I released countless albums as a leader, as well as appearing as a sideman with Nancy Wilson, Claude Bolling, Count Basie, Dave Brubeck, Mark Isham, Tito Puente, and Joe Williams.

I composed over 300 titles, including songs that became jazz standards, and had multiple albums on the Billboard charts during the 1950s, ‘60s, ‘80s and ‘90s.
Arthur Stead
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karnak
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Not ignoring this. Unfortunately, I know nothing of jazz (and/or big band etc.), so am sadly ignorant and clueless as to famous jazz pianists. Given such an impressive resume, I presume this person must be a household name, among those more familiar with the genre(s) and era(s). Just not on my own admittedly limited radar.
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arthur stead
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If it isn’t a household name, Karnak, it certainly should be. But alas (as I’m discovering), there don’t seem to be too many jazz enthusiasts here.

I remained fit and active well into my later years and continued to perform, even after being honored with an Ivor Novello Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993.
Arthur Stead
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Other honors include a Royal Command Performance for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, and performing for three U.S. Presidents (Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan).
Arthur Stead
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arthur stead
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I was appointed OBE in 1996, and in 2007, I was knighted. "So", I noted later, "the poor, blind kid from Battersea became Sir (my name). Now that's a fairy tale come true.”
Arthur Stead
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My mystery personality is the blind-from-birth pianist extraordinaire, George Shearing. Here he is performing his composition “Lullaby of Birdland” with Neil Swainson on bass. (Great example of his trademark “locked-hands” chordal style after the bass solo):

Click "Watch on YouTube" to see the video.



I’m going to step aside now and hope that someone else will continue this game.
Arthur Stead
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foolsnobody
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Arthur, I thought of George Shearing several clues before you used the word "blind". I'm glad you provided this name and this clip. I just looked at this just now, on Thursday at 5 pm EDT. Seems like this is a name that could be lost, all right, and it would be a shame. He had a style all his own. Lots of colorful and "up" improvisation, brief, and then seque-ing nicely back to the melody. Makes it sound easy--and we know it ain't.
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