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Serenade In Blue

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Album Review

This LP (which offers no information about dates or personnel) features pianist Erroll Garner playing ten standards with either John Simmons or Leonard Gaskin on bass, and Doc West or Charlie Smith on drums. The music is drawn from a session apiece in 1944, 1949, and 1950, with all material owned and at one time released by Atlantic. The ballads are quite rhapsodic and sometimes quite dreamy (if not draggy). The occasional stomps — such as "Perdido," "Pavanne," and a surprisingly chipper rendition of "Trees" — are generally more rewarding. Although not essential (there are certainly more coherent and definitive collections available), this album does include a few rarities not included in other reissue programs.


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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Serenade In Blue, Erroll Garner
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