Erroll Garner / André Previn

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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden

Like many budget compilations in the Hall of Fame label's Jazz Greats series, this LP is extremely short on details, omitting vital information about sidemen, composer credits and time frame. Side one featuring Erroll Garner combines at least three (and possibly more) studio sessions. The pianist is accompanied by bassist Red Callender and drummer Harold Doc West on the quiet ballad "Pastel" and the boppish "Trio," both of which date from a 1947 Vogue session. A trio of obscure numbers evidently come from a solo session taped later that year, including the lush "Love Is the Strangest Game," and two pieces which incorporate stride piano, the jaunty "Blues Garnie" and the equally playful "Play Piano Play." The remaining two numbers are harder to pin down. "Loose Nuts" is essentially a blues with a very humorous theme, while Garner's impression of "Frankie and Johnny" has a hilarious over-dramatic introduction before lightening up to his usual style. The side with André Previn contains a portion of Andre Previn Plays Fats Waller, a trio date recorded for Tops in 1953, with a presumed rhythm section made up of bassist Buddy Clark and drummer Shelly Manne. The choice of songs from the original LP is a bit odd, as several of them have no connection to Waller, though Previn's understated approach to "Squeeze Me" is included (though it is missing from all otherwise complete reissues of the original album). Although the Previn cuts are not quite on par with the Garner selections, this out of print compilation LP is worth picking up if found at a budget price.

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