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Magician / Gershwin and Kern

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Album Review

Two of Errol Garner's last albums, Magician and Gershwin and Kern, are reissued on this single CD. The pianist, heading trios or quartets, is in typically whimsical and hard-swinging form; he never did decline on record. The former session includes several of his originals plus versions of "Close to You" and "Watch What Happens" that manage to uplift those pop tunes; the latter date has consistently superior material. Garner's very spontaneous playing is as usual both unpredictable and quite accessible and these unedited performances were all first takes. No one ever really sounded like Erroll Garner and this highly enjoyable set of formerly rare material gives one a good example of his magical music.

Customer Reviews

Gershwin and Kern

It is so wonderful to hear this great American Jazz Master again; I had so many of his albums on vinyl that were filled with scratches from being overplayed. Mr. Garner's music contains all of the essential elements of classic jazz, elements commonly forgotten or neglected by so many of today's younger generation of jazzers. Elements like humor, tempo changes, dynamics, and strong melodic construction are mainstays in his improvisation. Remember, Errol Garner did it all by ear, refusing to learn to read like so many of the classic jazz musicians who felt reading would interfere with hearing. This is a wonderful collection of great songs by three of the finest composers of their times------sit back, mellow out, and enjoy!

An unexpected treasure

This is a very good value, 70 minutes of great piano music. Garner blasts his way through 22 tunes, each lively and delightful. I picked it up as a used CD years ago, and in short order it became one of my favorites. Thanks to this record, I don't hate "Close to You" anymore--I just play Garner's version in my head whenever I'm subjected to the Carpenters'. I don't even mind the out-of-place electric bass.

magician/gershwin and kern

Erroll Garner is a force of nature. Nobody like him. I have never heard him sound anything less than totally inspired. His energy and intensity are unmatched. These are wonderful interprataions of some classic American songs plus "Mucho Gusto", a Garner original that will knock your socks off.


Born: June 15, 1921 in Pittsburgh, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s

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...
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