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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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ERROLL GARNER

The Man I Love

Le Chant du Monde
374 2167 09

 

 

CD1
1. Misty
2. 1ndiana
3. The Man I Love
4. Laura
5. How High The Moon
6. Sophisticated Lady
7. Robbin's Nest
8. Dancing Tambourine
9. Rose Room
10. Full Moon And Empty Arms
11. Some Of These Days
12. Alexander's Ragtime Band
13. Them There Eyes
14. Moonglow
15. Humoresque
16. I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)
17. Passin' Through
 
CD2
1. Erroll's Bounce
2. Fancy
3. The Music Goes 'Round And 'Round
4. Dancing In The Dark
5. 1t Might As Well Be Spring
6. Solitaire
7. Until The Real Thing Comes Along
8. Stumbling
9. Don't Get Around Much Anymore
10. You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To
11. No More Time
12. 1f I Had You
13. Soliloquy
 
CD3
1. The Song from Moulin Rouge (Where Is Your Heart?)
2. I Love Paris
3. French Doll
4. Louise
5. Farewell to Paris
6. Left Bank Swing
7. La Vie en Rose
8. The French Touch
9. Paris Bounce
10. My Man
11. La Petite Mambo
12. The Last Time I Saw Paris
13. Moroccan Quarter

Erroll Garner - Piano

 

There is no information given with this three-CD set, so it is difficult to know when the tracks were recorded and who (if anyone) accompanied Erroll. After some detective work, I can guess where at least some of these items come from. The second CD is entitled Soliloquy and it contains some of the tracks which were on an LP of the same name, a reissue of which I reviewed here last year. The third CD is titled I Love Paris and it takes most of the tracks from the two volumes of the 1958 LPs Paris Impressions, although omitting some items that Garner recorded on the harpsichord. Erroll was accompanied here by bassist Ed Calhoun and drummer Kelly Martin. In fact Garner had visited Paris in December 1957, so the focus of this album is understandable.

Yet with Garner the recording details don't seem to matter much, as one can simply sit back and enjoy the music - and most enjoyable it is. One is tempted to analyse at least a few tracks closely because of the sheer complexity and brilliance of Erroll's playing. For instance, the very first track of the first CD - Misty (Garner's most famous composition) - shows how he uses the sustaining pedal to create a feeling of floating. And the following Indiana illustrates his ability to swing, while The Man I Love supplies an example of how his introductions often conceal the tune that is to come. His endings can be equally unpredictable - often stretching out into a series of phrases going up or down the scale.

In my previous review of Soliloquy, I noted how he takes the simple melody of Stumbling and varies it creatively with ever more adventurous ideas. He newly fashions a tune like It Might As Well be Spring in ways that seem to approach the surreal. He can keep different tunes or rhythms going in each hand and he uses dynamics to suddenly change the feel of a piece.

As I have said before, Erroll Garner was an adult prodigy - a continually astonishing player. And this boxed set of three CDs gives you more than 200 minutes of breathtaking virtuosity.

Tony Augarde
www.augardebooks.o.uk



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