Red Garland

The Nearness of You

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Unlike his slightly earlier recordings for Moodsville (which feature Red Garland on unaccompanied piano solos), this strictly ballad date has Garland joined (on all but the solo "Lush Life") by bassist Larry Ridley and drummer Frank Gant. Since all eight of the standards are taken at the same medium/slow tempo, there is not much variety here, keeping the CD from being essential. But Garland's attractive and distinctive chord voicings, plus his ability to uplift melodies while swinging at a slow speed, make this project a success. Highlights include "The Nearness of You," "Where or When," and Irving Berlin's "All Alone." Particularly effective when used as background music.

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