Another in a long line of fine Jazz 'Round Midnight collections from Verve, this Erroll Garner installment finds the pianist on a fine set of both trio sides and solo pieces. And if a jazz figure was ever tailor-made for this ballad-heavy series, then it's the dulcet-fingered Garner.
Jazz Sampler from Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab. Established in 1977 by Brad Miller, MFSL specializes in remastering major-label music for the "audiophile" market. CD releases began in 1984.
3 CD Set, 45 essential tracks from the brilliant jazz pianist & composer. One of the most distinctive of all pianists, Erroll Garner proved that it was possible to be a sophisticated player without knowing how to read music, that a creative jazz musician can be very popular without watering down his music, and that it is possible to remain an enthusiastic player without changing one's style once it is formed. A brilliant virtuoso who sounded unlike anyone else, on medium tempo pieces, Erroll Garner often stated the beat with his left hand like a rhythm guitar while his right played chords slightly behind the beat, creating a memorable effect. His playful free-form introductions (which forced his sidemen to really listen), his ability to play stunning runs without once glancing at the keyboard, his grunting, and the pure joy that he displayed while performing were also part of the Erroll Garner magic.
Bop wasn't supposed to be as accessible as the popular big-band jazz that preceded it, but it's albums like this that give the lie to such generalizations. Serenade to Laura contains some of the most inventive and yet beguiling jazz piano ever recorded, and has been seducing listeners for 60 years and counting. Erroll Garner cut the original 14 sides on this LP across almost four years, in trio sessions on both coasts, backed initially by John Levy on bass and George DeHart on drums; and later by John Simmons on bass and Alvin Stoller on drums.
Erroll Louis Garner (1923-1977) was an American jazz pianist and composer known for his swing playing and ballads. His best-known composition, the ballad "Misty", has become a jazz standard. Scott Yanow of Allmusic calls him "one of the most distinctive of all pianists" and a "brilliant virtuoso".