25 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Pittsburgh native Erroll Garner was both a successful composer—responsible for the enduring jazz standard “Misty”—and an influential swing pianist. Within a few years of moving to New York in the mid-'40s, he was playing with Charlie Parker, and he cut a slew of solo albums before his death in 1977. He was reliably versatile, relishing delicate notes on the sad and slow “Humoresque” while strutting boldly through “Play Piano, Play,” both from the early '50s. Garner's jittery charm translates across any backdrop: He makes enthusiatic jabs against whimsical scatting on “Dark Eyes,” and even leads a conga-flecked mambo reading of “Old Black Magic.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

Pittsburgh native Erroll Garner was both a successful composer—responsible for the enduring jazz standard “Misty”—and an influential swing pianist. Within a few years of moving to New York in the mid-'40s, he was playing with Charlie Parker, and he cut a slew of solo albums before his death in 1977. He was reliably versatile, relishing delicate notes on the sad and slow “Humoresque” while strutting boldly through “Play Piano, Play,” both from the early '50s. Garner's jittery charm translates across any backdrop: He makes enthusiatic jabs against whimsical scatting on “Dark Eyes,” and even leads a conga-flecked mambo reading of “Old Black Magic.”

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