Erroll Garner - In Performance
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Rare performances circa 1964 from BBC-TV by renowned pianist and composer of "Misty," Erroll Garner, digitally re-mastered and available for the first time on DVD.
Pianist Erroll Garner's sheer ebullience, virtuoso technique, and endless flow of ideas are all on hand in these two 1964 performances (totaling 72 minutes) taken from the archives of the BBC. Although players like Bill Evans and McCoy Tyner were moving jazz piano in entirely new directions by that time, Garner's jaunty, florid playing, with its elements of ragtime, stride, and other old-fashioned styles, seems to exist in another world. It's an entertaining world, though, as he makes his way through a repertoire consisting largely of standards like "Just One of Those Things," "Laura," "Lover," "Honeysuckle Rose," and such, most of them featuring Garner's inimitably imaginative introductions. However, although he wrote the tune, he won't play "Misty" for you; that classic appears here only as an audio-only bonus track, an inexplicable move roughly akin to Tony Bennett not singing "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" or Tiny Tim foregoing "Tiptoe Through the Tulips." --Sam GrahamSee all Editorial Reviews
- Bonus audio track of "Misty"
- Photo gallery
- Songs: Just One of Those Things, Dreamy, What Is This Thing Called Love, Spring Is Here/It Might as Well Be Spring, Lover, Laura, Sonny Boy, Erroll's Theme, Honeysuckle Rose, No More Shadows, Mambo Erroll, Penthouse Serenade, Jeannine (I Dream of Lilac Time), On the Street Where You Live/I Could Have Danced All Night, All Yours, The Lady Is a Tramp, Erroll's Theme
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What makes this special is the energy and genius that flow from his fingers. You are treated to jazz improvisation as it unfolds. More importantly - to me at least - is the way the rhythm section locks in and stays there no matter what Erroll plays. That takes its own form of genius and especially when backing someone like Erroll. Bassist Eddie Calhoun has a great touch and lays down his lines with authority. A lesser musician would have been intimidated into the background. I found Kelly Martin's playing to be tasteful and love the way he exhibited a keen sense of dynamics. There is a reason why Erroll kept them on as his rhythm section for a decade.
It's Erroll's playing, though, that is the centerpiece of this performance. I own a pile of his albums, but seeing him in action is a jaw dropping experience. If you don't believe me just do a search for Erroll BBC 625 and watch snippets of the footage that is on this DVD.
About the performances. They were recorded during two BBC broadcasts of Jazz 625 on October 22 and 31, 1964. That show was hosted by Steve Race who quickly fades into the background so the trio has maximum air time. The black and white footage is beautiful and the sound is surprisingly good too.
Here is what was played for each segment:
October 22, 1964
2-No more shadows
5-Jeannine, I dream of lilac time
6-On the street where you live
7-I could have danced all night
8-A new kind of love
9-The lady is a tramp
October 31, 1964
1-Just one of those things
2-What is this thing called love?
4-Spring is here
6-It might as well be spring
If you love this DVD you will probably also love Jazz Icons: Erroll Garner Live in '63 & '64.
No doubt, there will never be another Eroll Garner... and I don't know whether to say its a darn shame... or to simply say, Thank God there simple WAS an Erroll Garner. Its true... the piano *was* invented for him... and if you're not yet convinced, this video will do nothing to dispel the myth... only make it larger !
I was lucky enough to see Errol in London at the time this special was first broadcast and much of the content here was identical to the concert I attended. So this DVD is an added bonus for me.
Errol Garner was an awesome Pianist - that slightly lagging left hand while the right improvised using block chords at phenominal tempos was simply mind-blowing. And his interpretation of ballads gives me goose pimples - beautifully thought out with so much feeling. Wonderful.
Yes, this DVD is a real gem that any lover of good music will treasure.