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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 26 July 2017
Brilliant, thank you!
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on 27 March 2014
I actually liked the dubbed applause and atmospherics of the original vinyl recording and this CD disappointed me as being too clinical and lacking soul which is sad because these two performers never did lack soul.....ever! I waited for Peggy to introduce the recording with "Shall we swing a little bit" followed by the applause............and nothing. It didn't improve after that I'm afraid.
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on 2 December 2008
I always found the original 'live' version of this album unlistenable to because of the obviously fake applause and announcements and worse, the nightclub 'ambience', a continual background hubbub of chatter and cutlery that was dubbed in even under the actual songs!

What a joy to find the album released at last with all extraneous noise deleted, so we can listen to these pure, perfect, beautifully recorded studio recordings, for my money some of the finest work Lee and Shearing ever created. What a pity they did not do a series, as Shearing was later to do with Mel Torme.

The song choices and their considered interpretations are models of good taste. Lee's astonishing dramatic gift, singing at times in barely a whisper and yet so affectingly rich in tone and nuance, is in its full maturity here. Her ability to swing hard without ever raising her voice or straining for effect is likewise at its most potent.

At last, this can be classed as one of the greatest Peggy Lee albums.
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on 17 December 2008
Please note that one of the fantastic developments that this new edition has brought is the dropping of the pretence that this is a live recording, yes they performed live and yes this was meant to be a recording of that concert but technical failure lead to the release of studio recordings with Peggy Lee's transparently false spoken intro's added. This really did spoil the album for me as I could tell that I was being sold a lie. I am delighted to say that they are gone from this new version and that the sound quality is much improved. The whole album now has integrity and I love it!
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This CD has a somewhat chequered history. It originated from the 1959 Miami Disc Jockey's convention but the tape for the 12 tracks was damaged. So the tunes were released with the audience reactions artificially added and it was released in CD originally in that form. However, Capitol thought better of it and had the tracks remastered without the overdubbing for this CD. They also added two bonus tracks - `Nobody's heart' and `Don't ever leave me', recorded at the original sessions in 1959 but not included in the original LP. Shearing and Lee are in top form near the peaks of their respective careers - `peaks' that lasted a couple of decades!
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on 11 March 2011
I READ ABOUT THE DEATH OF GEORGE SHEARING the day after I received this Capitol Jazz CD I had ordered--back in 1959, George and Peggy Lee had an album released 'recorded at the Disk Jockey Convention, in Miami, Florida'. It was all there, the audience, the announcements... and it was all fake. Only we didn't find out for several decades.

I believe the concert at the convention was recorded, but for some reason it was not deemed worthy of release, and the studio-recorded performances were substituted. George and Peggy recorded a couple of announcements that were dropped in - not entirely convincingly I now realise, and that was what we heard. I had the album on vinyl, and then later bought it on CD. The CD that arrived this week was the re-mastered studio tapes, sans disk jockeys, sans announcements, sans fakery!

I've always thought of Peggy Lee in terms of an Ice Queen--I really don't know why, because the singing is warm and carressing. Maybe it's the blonde hair. The lady was multiply talented, we know, a singer, songwriter, actress, lyricist and voice-over artist. Remember the Siamese cats in Lady and the Tramp? Peggy wrote the song and performed it for the sound-track.

So, to the album: titled Beauty and the Beat (I don't know if it's the first instance of that title: it certainly wasn't the last!) it features vocals from the aforesaid Miss Lee, and playing from the George Shearing Quintet, occasionally augmented to a Sextet by the additon of LA percussionist Armando Peraza. With George on piano, we hear Ray Alexander on vibes, Toots Thielmanns, guitar, Carl Pruitt on bass and drummer Ray Mosca. The 'Shearing sound' is in plentiful supply, tightly arranged lines with vibes an octave above the guitar, both doubled by the piano, with or without block chords in between -- you could take those arrangements and have a saxophone section play them, and it would sound pretty much like Glenn Miller...

The opening track, now mercifully shorn of its cheering and clapping, has always seemed to me to exemplify the near-perfect jazz-cabaret accompaniment. Four bars from the Quintet, repeated, for the introduction, and then as the vocal begins, the four bar phrases are stretched to eight bars, leaving more space for the vocal line. So simple, and so right! I'm not going to attempt to disect the numbers - the arrangements are excellent, the playing is masterly, and Lady Lee is in good voice. She does lay out for a couple of numbers in the middle, Mambo In Miami, composed by the percussionist, Armando Peraza and Isn't it Romantic? There are two 'bonus tracks' which didn't appear on the original album, and the second one is a personal favourite. Don't Ever Leave Me, by Jerome Kern, with words by Oscar Hammerstein II, was first heard in the 1929 show, Sweet Adeline and here it is rendered with consummate skill by our Miss Lee, plaintive and heartfelt enough to melt the heart of a tax-gatherer...

Finally, the cover picture shows Peggy Lee and George Shearing on stage in the spotlight. And that too is a fake, shot in the studio!
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on 23 October 2006
Connery and Bond, peaches and cream, Peggy Lee and George Shearing! They are marriages made in heaven.

I owned this album on vinyl when it had the canned applause and faux intros and I have to admit that I was a little bit disappointed to discover that the CD lacks those particular, er, enhancements. I soon got over it, though.

This is a wonderful album, packed with magical performances of superb arrangements of great songs. I have my own favourite tracks but I won't bore you by listing those. Instead, let me say that I get a sort of musical hard-on, just anticipating the delights that will follow a look at the track-list. Note, here that 'Mambo in Miami' and 'Satin Doll' are instrumentals but don't feel cheated - they fit in well with the album's original concert concept and 'Satin Doll' in particular is wonderful stuff.

Every track is a gem and it's my all-time favourite Peggy Lee set. Buy this album. Now!
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Originally recorded in 1959 and re-released in 1992, this landmark CD features all new arrangements developed during in an intense three days of rehearsal before this live performance. Shearing was relatively new to the US and its audiences, but Lee became a fan the minute she heard him and was thrilled to make an album with him. A saloon-singer/composer/jazz artist, and always a professional, she was known for her attention to the smallest detail, not a trait that lends itself naturally to albums recorded "live," but with Shearing at the keyboard and his quintet in the background, Lee sounds relaxed, swingy, and light-hearted here.
Featuring songs from the Great American Songbook--by Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hart, Duke Ellington, and Oscar Hammerstein and Jerome Kern--with some Afro-Cuban, blues, and the debut recording of her own romantic ballad, "There'll Be Another Spring," the CD offers variety, at the same time that it maintains its mellow approach and overall lightness.
Shearing is the consummate accompanist on the songs the two do together. Her voice is always out front, with his chords, runs, key changes, and playfulness on piano remaining in the background to enhance her voice and songs. The bluesy "I Lost My Sugar in Salt Lake City" and "Blue Prelude," a blues song given an upbeat treatment here, are among the most exciting and interesting on the CD. "There'll Be Another Spring," a beautiful, romantic ballad written by Lee, is recorded for the first time on this album, taking advantage of her restrained passion and dramatic, whispery voice.
Shearing, whose quintet was famous for his early adoption of Afro-Cuban rhythms and the fine blending of piano and vibes, solos with Armando Peraza's "Mambo in Miami," in which Peraza himself supplies the unusual percussion and syncopated beat. In his second solo, "Isn't It Romantic," he matches his arrangement with the lyrics, creating one of the most romantic songs on the album.
Two bonus tracks, including "Don't Ever Leave Me," a dramatic and passionate plea by Lee, and "Nobody's Heart," both recorded earlier and not part of the live performance, are added to this CD. Fine music by two fine musicians make this an album for romance—if one can ignore the fact that the intros to all the songs were added after the fact when the album was edited. Mary Whipple
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on 21 July 2011
This is a superb CD by two all-time great artists in their own right, Peggy Lee and George Shearing, both were in great form when recording these songs, and the solo numbers by George Shearing are brilliant, George at his very best! There are some very imformative sleeve notes with very interesting information re the original recording issued on vinyl. Ten out of ten for this CD.
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on 14 March 2012
I have the original vinyl record with the dubbed background and introductions. It was the first stereo record I ever bought. This CD is the remastered studio version and in my opinion is, perhaps, the best Peggy Lee album ever as, apart from her great singing and choice of un-hackneyed tracks, it has the support of the George Shearing Group. Pity they never got back again to produce more music like this.
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