Erroll Garner: 25 Standards

Erroll Garner was a magical name for three decades, a pianist whose style fit into its own swinging category. In mid-1945, Garner was captured performing concise versions of 25 jazz standards, all unaccompanied except for three numbers that include bassist John Levy. Garner simply sat at the piano and created variations on a variety of his favorite tunes; virtually all of these performances are first takes. Garner showed that he could make a meaningful statement in three minutes (only one number exceeds four minutes), coming up with a steady flow of spirited and inventive ideas while always keeping the melody close by.

Erroll Garner was a completely unique pianist. Like the best jazz musicians, he had his own distinctive and highly original style. But much to his good fortune, his playing was so accessible that his audience reached far beyond jazz, without him ever having to alter or water down his playing. Garner, a natural musician who never learned to read music, came out of the last years of the swing era yet was never imprisoned by his roots. On uptempo tunes, he could emulate the Count Basie Orchestra with his left hand strumming like Freddie Green's rhythm guitar. One of his trademark innovations was when his right hand played just slightly behind the beat, creating an unusual echo effect. His playing was always full of wit (he loved to confuse his sidemen by playing completely free form introductions to songs and letting them guess what the tune was going to be) and he displayed so much joy during his solos that it was impossible to resist. No matter how wild and hard-swinging his flights became, one always heard the melody in his playing, as they did in his early idol Fats Waller, yet he could sound very sentimental during ballads.

25 Standards features Erroll Garner clearly having a great time digging into some of his favorite tunes from the era and coming up with variations that still sound fresh. As was always true of him, his playing throughout 25 Standards is irresistible. 


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Blue Room What Is This Thing Called Love? For You I Can't Get Started With You You Made Me Love You St. Louis Blues Rosetta Blue Skies Baby Won't You Please Come Home How Deep is the Ocean It Had To Be You I Get a Kick Out of You Lisa I Know That You Know Body and Soul On the Sunny Side of the Street All the Things You Are Mood Indigo Sweet Georgia Brown I Can't Give You Anything but Love Baby Somebody Loves Me Night and Day Sweet Lorraine I Cried for You Oh, Lady Be Good

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Additional Info

Format: Jazz Record
Soloist/Artist No
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