Red Garland recorded 16 ballads during this single 1960 session for Prestige's Moodsville subsidiary. Although these selections were intended as mood music for lovers, Garland's imaginative arrangements keep things interesting. The pianist's strolling tempo of "When Your Lover Has Gone" suggests nostalgic reflection rather than melancholy from the typically slow performances by singers. His playful side comes out in "These Foolish Things," while the graceful runs in the upper keyboard are complemented by his rich block chords in "My Last Affair." The subtlety of his interpretation of "You Are Too Beautiful" and the delicate rendition of "The Nearness of You" are also memorable. But the obvious high point of this release is his stunning exploration of Duke Ellington's "I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)," which succeeds in conveying the powerful emotions of this ballad without a singer. This remarkable collection of standards should appeal to any fan of jazz piano.
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden