Yesterdays . 1944-49
Naxos Jazz Legends
The Blue Room
I'm in the Mood for Love
Boogie Woogie Boogie
Loot to Boot
Somebody Loves Me
Full Moon and Empty arms
Memories of You
Erroll Garner - Piano with various versions of his Trio.
Bass - John Simmons (1to3 & 16), John Levy (6to9), Red Callender (10to15
Drums - Harold 'Doc' West (1to3 & 14), Geo. De Paul (6to9), Nick Fatool
(10 to 12) Lou Singer (13), Alvin Stoller (16), Jackie Mills (17).
Blue Lou has additionally, Wardell Gray - Tenor and Irving Ashby - Guitar.
Erroll Garner was one of the great jazz piano stylists that emerged in the
1940's, being self taught he was able to break all the rules, or maybe he
just established some new ones of his own! He had a unique style, often imitated
but never sounding as good as the original. A feature of his latter day concerts
were long flowery cola voce introductions and it was interesting to watch
the Bass player listening hard, because Erroll could play any tune in any
key and frequently did!
The fascinating thing about this CD, which covers only a small amount of
his output recorded in the period 1944 to 49, is how he develops as a trio
player. In the earlier tracks the Bass player and Drummer are almost superfluous,
this was a trend which continued and during later periods the Trio became
a highly integrated unit. It is by track 6, 4&5 are Piano Solos that
we hear the trio start to work as a unit. Track 6 is of course Indiana, a
great jazz standard and this version has everything we associate with Erroll,
chorus after chorus of inventive improvisation. Stardust and Laura repeat
the dose but this time in Ballad format, Stardust being a Hoagy Carmichael
tune, has the subtle chord changes that bring out the best in Erroll's
performance. Frantonality seems to have more than a touch of 'Love Me or
Leave Me' about it to me, but as he wrote Misty, his immortality as a songwriter
is assured anyway. He has a good original called Trio as well; it has certainly
stood the test of time well and sounds extremely fresh even now. Blue Lou
has the great Tenor Sax stylist Wardell Gray on Tenor and Irving Ashby on
Guitar, it gives us the opportunity to hear Erroll comping behind other players,
something it appears he was good at, but a roll he was not often heard in.
If you are a Garner fan or you need an introduction to his work, this CD
is very good value in many ways.
Don Mather is a Saxophone Player and Bandleader in Coventry