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Erroll Garner - Concert By The Sea
Erroll Garner - Concert By The Sea
'Concert by the Sea,' a live recording from September 19, 1955 in Carmel, California, features one of the most distinctive pianists ever to touch a keyboard, Erroll Garner, in a program of originals and standards with his trio, featuring Denzil Best on drums.

Amazingly, Garner couldn't read music--he played entirely by ear! Yet he was a brilliant virtuoso with a unique, original voice. On medium-tempo pieces, he often stated the beat with his left hand like a rhythm guitar while his right played chords slightly behind the beat, creating a particularly distinctive effect. His playful free-form introductions, and his ability to play stunning runs never glancing at the keyboard, were enhanced by his perpetual grunting, as well as the pure joy he displayed while performing. Quite simply, Erroll Garner was a musical magician of alchemistic proportions.

A native of Pittsburgh, Garner worked locally before moving to New York's thriving 52nd Street scene in the mid-1940s, joining bassist Slam Stewart's energetic trio. After working on his own, he came to the attention of the Jazz world when he backed Charlie Parker on the Cool Blues session of 1947.

Unclassifiable, Garner's orchestral approach was straight from the swing era yet he proved he was also open to the innovations of bop. By the early '50s, he became one of the most popular Jazz musicians on the planet and he played almost non-stop until illness forced his retirement in 1975.

Garner's composition 'Misty' is a standard, and an integral part of Jazz fan Clint Eastwood's movie, Play Misty for Me.

On this monumental recording, an absolute must for any Jazz collection, Garner offers dramatically exciting versions of 'Teach Me Tonight,' 'Autumn Leaves,' 'It's All Right with Me,' 'April in Paris,' 'Where or When.'

Garner was one of the few pianists in Jazz history with a strong, two-handed approach and an inherent understanding of how to best use dynamics to enrich his piano style. It's all here on this must own album.

Bret Primack


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