Friday, October 16, 2009

Erroll Garner - 'Concert by the Sea' Will Set You Free!

I have six music discs in the console of my Malibu.

The Rascals Greatest Hits
Essential Frank Sinatra
The Best of Sam Cooke
John Roothaan and Terry Sullivan" (Acapulco Stomp)
Kinks - Vol.1 & 2
Errol Garner Concert by the Sea

Long road stretches get the Rascals and the Kinks. Traffic gets the sobering and soothing sounds of vocalists Cooke,Sinatra, Miss Terry Sullivan and especially the piano genius Errol Garner.

Unlike too many trendier jazz icons - e.g. perpetually pissed off black genius Miles Davis - Garner is welcoming, friendly, open and communal. Errol let's us squares in there.

Garner is complex, playful and astounding. From the initial hammering of chords on I'll Remember April Garner has you hooked ( click my post title)
Click my post title for this much too looked over genius. Wes Montgomery on guitar is Garner's parallel spirit.

This is from Paul Conley's great site

Listen to any Erroll Garner recording and you realize, above all else, this man loved to play piano. If you were lucky enough to see him, you also know he loved to share that joy with his audience. As a result, Erroll Garner became one of the most popular pianists of all time. Such was not the case with many of his modem jazz colleagues, however. Consider Bud Powell, perhaps the most influential of all bebop pianists, whose pioneering approach attracted legions of fans within the jazz community but who alienated those casual listeners still struggling with the innovations of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. Erroll Garner, on the other hand, was a favorite among jazz musicians, jazz fans and popular audiences alike. His style was far from "bebop," but he was a thoroughly modem player, whose explorations of melody, harmony and rhythm were totally unique. Still, he never lost that personal connection with the audience. He was one of those rare individuals capable of fusing unparalleled artistry with pure and honest emotion. Erroll Gamer's music was the embodiment of both joy and genius.

As the original host of "The Tonight Show" and of his own syndicated program, Steve Allen introduced television audiences to dozens of jazz greats. "There was always a rare kind of excitement when Erroll Garner played," explains Allen. "The audience first of all could be observed to be smiling, which they would not always do if say listening to Oscar Peterson. They might be open-mouthed in awe listening to Oscar, but the smiling thing would be unlikely to happen. But with Erroll there would be this happy look on the audience's faces and then an actual cheer when he finished. And sometimes cheers would happen during the performance, like at an athletic contest when somebody sinks a long basket to win the game. It was almost like that kind of outburst when the man would perform."


BillyFish said...

Thanks for the suggestion. Next time I am in traffic down in Vegas, I'll check it out. Next time you are cruising across the San Rafael Swell in Utah try this.

Sidewinder by Lee Morgan

pathickey said...

Thanks William!

Bert said...

you can't beat the Kinks!