Erroll Garner

Campus Concert/Feeling Is Believing

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This two-fer from the Telarc label's Archive series brings together two fine but unrelated albums from jazz piano legend Erroll Garner. Campus Concert was recorded in the spring of 1964 at Purdue University, and shows the affinity Garner shared with his student audience in the days when jazz was considered cooler on campus than the dominant teenage-oriented rock & roll. The set list for this live performance is mostly standards, done in Garner's unique barrelhouse-meets-piano-bar style. Feeling is Believing was released in 1970, and reflects the influence of the contemporary pop music of the time, with covers of "For Once in My Life," "Yesterday," "Spinning Wheel" and "The Look of Love" mixed in with five originals and "Strangers in the Night." The material on this half of the disc is more adventurous and consequently more interesting than the earlier live tracks. Here, Garner's usual trio setting is augmented by percussionist Jose Mangual, whose congas add a spicy rhythmic touch to the proceedings. "Paisley Eyes" and "You Turned Me Around" are especially intriguing originals, while "Mood Island" floats across a pleasantly relaxed Latin groove.

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