George Shearing had a long career as a recording and concert artist as a jazz pianist and with various ensembles, as well as a composer. In the 1970s, he made arrangements of 19th century American tunes for organ. The setting that you hear tonight is on the tune Antioch, composed in 1850 by F C Wood and published in The Sacred Harp. (This is not the familiar Lowell Mason tune of the same name, sung to "Joy to the world.")
These five variations are based on a mid-19th century hymn by the English jazz pianist.