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Complete Savoy Master Takes [2 CD]

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 26, 2009
$86.18 $15.99

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Product Description

41 tracks, everything piano great Erroll Garner recorded for Savoy, including 37 sides with his Trio and four with the Slam Stewart Quartet. These sessions date from the mid- to late '40s, about a decade before his best-selling Concert by the Sea album, but fans of his lyrical playing will hear his unmistakeable touch on standards like Star Dust; Laura; Body and Soul; Stompin' at the Savoy , and more.

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Erroll Garner was only 23 when the earliest tracks on this two-CD collection were cut. Yet the pianist never exhibits tentativeness, regardless of the tune, the tempo, or the troupe he's working with. Dating from the winter of 1945 to the summer of 1949, these selections mark some of Garner's earliest professional efforts. You wouldn't know it by listening to his playing, however. With the exception of four tunes recorded while he was still a member of the Slam Stewart Quartet, Garner works in a trio setting here, essaying a selection of standards with a freshness that is utterly invigorating. Capable of being alternately playful or reflective (while resisting the temptation to be either coy or self-absorbed), the Pennsylvania-born virtuoso displays the breadth of his talents and tastes on back-to-back exhibitions such as the pensive yet crisp "A Cottage for Sale," followed by the jaunty, utterly delightful "This Can't Be Love." Given that the 41 tracks included here represent Garner's full Savoy output (alternate takes excepted), this collection is essential for fans of jazz piano. --Steven Stolder
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 26, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Savoy
  • ASIN: B00000DC2K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,145 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Amado Ponce on March 21, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This Savoy Master Takes collection(1945-1949) represents one of the best periods in Garner's career. His "signature" was already in place at that time (You cannot say that of many jazz pianist, since it takes a lot of years when their music is clearly identified).
Most songs at that time were limited to three minutes maximum (Due to the 78 RPM recordings). Erroll demonstrated-under this time restriction- to provide outstanding improvisation ("The Man I Love") as well as swing ("Indiana", "Undecided", Stompi'n at the Savoy", just to name a few examples).
It seems to this writer that Erroll was "carrying" those melodies so smoothly that it was very delighted to listened to them-over and over.
In general, it's worth adding this Savoy set (Two discs) to your collection, regardless of the the out of tune piano in a few of the songs.
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Format: MP3 Music
This album was mostly recorded in 1949 with four tracks in 1945. It is a perfect segue from a collection of Garner's earliest recordings titled The Best of Erroll Garner from 1944 to 1947 (Deluxe Edition). In fact if you also follow this album by Essential Jazz Masters '56 you will have a rough chronological framework to hear his personal evolution. Not necessarily his style, but in his choice of material. His style was pretty much fully mature very early in his career.

What I love is that the sound quality is more than acceptable on most of the tracks. That, alone, is quite a feat considering the state of recording technology during Garner's Savoy period. Do be aware that this will probably not please an audiophile, so if you are expecting pristine and processed sound you are going to be disappointed. What you can expect is some excellent music.

Fortunately this page has sound samples, so listen to those first. They will provide you with ample information about the music and sound quality in a few short seconds per track.

For my fellow jazz geeks and hard core Garner fans I have tracked down session information. Some of the sources I checked were vague of ambiguious, which I have noted where appropriate.

DISC ONE
Tracks 1 through 4 were recorded in NYC on September 25, 1945. Erroll is backed by John Levy on bass and George De Hart on drums. The remaining tracks on this disc were recorded in Los Angeles on March 29, 1949 with John Simmons on bass and Alvin Stoller on drums.
Read more ›
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Format: MP3 Music
I bought this album because of an Amazon Jazz sampler - the song was specifically September Song, to be precise. Yes, it is quite out of tune, but after a couple of listens I realized I was being introduced to a master.

Few songs bring tears to my eyes but September Song did. The obviously dysfunctional piano in a strange way added a poignance to the melody - it reminded me of the old piano at my grandfather's house that could only be coaxed to impart a melody by those who truly loved music.

Each piece here has a special touch, and each is short enough that I go back and play them over again and over again. It's wonderful listening for a rainy afternoon. Beautiful interpretations by one of the greats. If you love older music, you won't regret spending for this.
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Format: Audio CD
the only downfall is that the booklet does not list full sessionographical/discographical information. if someone could post that info here (or which book it would be in) I'd appreciate it...
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