Erroll Garner

Hall of Fame

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AllMusic Review by

Past Perfect is an imprint of TIM The International Music Company AG, a German company that specializes in multi-disc sets of unlicensed recordings by vintage artists, taking advantage of the 50-year copyright limit on recordings in Europe. Past Perfect's Hall of Fame series presents five-CD box sets that, as the cover note claims, "incl. 40 page booklet." Thus, here we have more than four and a half hours of early Erroll Garner, recordings made between 1946 and 1952 (with one exception). The material has been transferred from records originally released by such labels as Savoy, Dial, Columbia, and Mercury. Garner solo and trio sides recorded in the studio dominate, but there are also some live takes, notably a date recorded April 29, 1947, that places Garner in a sextet with Howard McGhee, Vic Dickenson, Benny Carter, and Wardell Gray. The booklet does indeed run 40 pages, and the 30 of those pages devoted to prose are closely printed. But the unsigned essay, like that for other Hall of Fame boxes, is an odd one, and not only because the phrasing is sometimes stilted (as if it had been written in a language other than English and then translated), but also because it is so heavily padded with tangential information. Practically every time another musician is mentioned, the reference is accompanied by a mini-biography of that musician, and even at that the writer is only able to manage 24 pages, with the final six given over entirely to short biographies of various songwriters whose songs Garner recorded! Needless to say, a jazz fan looking for a comprehensive box set of Garner's work with coherent commentary should look elsewhere, but a casual fan interested in obtaining a big chunk of Garner music at a modest price (which is what this set was selling for on release in American mail-order catalogs) could do worse. By the way, the one exception noted above is the album-closing 1954 recording of the Garner hit "Misty," which seems to have been slipped in here even though it was not out of copyright when the set appeared. Maybe they figured nobody would notice.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:56
2 3:03
3 2:53
4 3:00
5 2:48
6 2:55
7 3:08
8 2:56
9 3:24
10 3:00
11 2:57
12 3:15
13 2:48
14 2:41
15 3:02
16 2:54
17 2:47
18 2:55
19 2:46
20 3:03
21 3:08
22 2:57
23 2:53
24 2:52
25 2:41
26 3:07
27 2:44
28 2:44
29 3:16
30 2:41
31 2:58
32 3:11
33 3:01
34 2:55
35 3:07
36 3:00
37 2:43
38 3:00
39 2:57
40 3:04
41 2:57
42 2:56
43 2:36
44 3:03
45 2:55
46 2:53
47 2:53
48 2:34
49 2:44
50 2:41
51 2:42
52 2:50
53 3:01
54 3:18
55 3:02
56 3:23
57 3:44
58 3:26
59 4:15
60 3:44
61 2:34
62 3:06
63 2:24
64 2:35
65 3:11
66 3:10
67 3:24
68 3:49
69 2:44
70 3:38
71 2:55
72 3:44
73 2:58
74 2:06
75 3:23
76 3:36
77 2:56
78 2:22
79 3:07
80 2:41
81 2:48
82 2:41
83 2:46
84 2:20
85 3:17
86 3:13
87 3:15
88 2:25
89 3:07
90 2:58
91 2:38
92 2:46
blue highlight denotes track pick