Volume 15 in the Classics Erroll Garner chronology presents two Columbia recording sessions from February 27 and March 30, 1953. Liberated by the long-playing phonograph record format, the pianist stretches out for extended variations on jazz standards lasting six, seven, and even eight minutes. Garner interacts here with bassist Wyatt "Bull" Ruther and Eugene "Fats" Heard. The opening track, a bubbling rendition of "Caravan," should be considered for inclusion among Garner's all-time most exciting performances on record. Several aspects of Garner's art are in evidence on this compilation: the wild and rambunctious exertions of a master improviser, the unruffled confluence between pop music and bop logic, and the slow and wistful magic of a gradually unfolding reverie. Erroll Garner could take any song and transform it into a disarmingly personal episodic environment. The music on this album neatly personifies Garner the merry alchemist.
by arwulf arwulf