Erroll Garner

Erroll Garner [1956]

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This Erroll Garner LP has appeared under several titles on Columbia, enough to confuse most collectors. Evidently first released as a 10" disc called Piano Moods, it was reissued on LP both as Erroll Garner and also as Erroll Garner at the Piano. Producer George Avakian states that everything was recorded in one take with no breakdowns, although it isn't made clear which release following this one contained the 40 minutes or so not used on this record. The pianist is accompanied by bassist Wyatt Reuther and drummer Fats Heard, who follow his improvisations as if they already knew where he was going. Garner is in top form as he kicks off the record with a virtuoso take of "Caravan," followed by a lush "(There Is) No Greater Love." "Avalon" starts with a well-disguised introduction before Garner launches into overdrive with yet another breathtaking performance. His take of "Lullaby of Birdland" is much like composer George Shearing's typical approach to this jazz standard, except that it incorporates musical humor to a greater degree. Also included are memorable interpretations of "Will You Still Be Mine?" and "Memories of You." Although CBS has reissued this Garner recording in Europe, it unfortunately remains long out of print in the pianist's homeland.

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