A really beautiful arrangement of this classic film number which I just found out was written in 1944, not the 1950s as I had always thought. Superb orchestral parts move in and out of the texture, through which a lot of harmonic interest not present in other versions is heard. Shearing's divine pianistic touch is shown at several key moments. I don't always like Shearing's recordings, but this one is special.
from White Satin (Capitol ST1334) available on CD - The Best of George Shearing (Capitol)
'Laura' has long been my favorite standard. The tune is elegant and haunting, and completely devoid of some of the schmaltzy feel that plagues many popular standards.
Written as an instrumental for the 1944 film of the same name, this was composed as a piano-based number, and so Julie's version is perhaps not the most orthodox recording. However, it's incredibly powerful and atmospheric, and I *think* it's my favorite version.
The entire track lasts just 1 minute and 40 seconds. The first verse is sung as a solo voice without any accompaniment other than the spooky reverberation effect. When the music does come in, it's provided by a small jazz trio led by Barney Kessel. Kessel's delicate jazz chords and picking complement Julie's voice beautifully.