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Erroll Garner


Pianist, Composer

(1921 - 1977)

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Erroll Garner is one of the most distinctive pianists of the jazz genre. Other than Thelonious Monk, no one is more identifiable or harder to imitate. A self-taught virtuoso, Garner devised a solo style that eliminated rhythm accompaniment. His hands worked totally independent of each other. With block chords he set the rhythmic tempo in his left hand, and with his right, he embellished on the tune, taking liberties with melody and time, often lagging behind the beat. Some jazz purists dismissed him because he maintained his style throughout his career and enjoyed popularity unknown to most jazz artists. But Garner’s interpretive abilities and technical superiority cannot be denied.

He made frequent TV appearances, toured five continents, fronted major symphony orchestras, and composed film scores. His compositions were for jazz piano, but in 1962, when Johnny Burke added lyrics to “Misty,” Garner’s 1954 tune soared in popularity and entered the jazz standard repertoire.

Garner began his professional career at seven, playing with the Candy Kids, and at 16 he joined the Leroy Brown band. In 1944-45 he played in a trio with bassist Slam Stewart and guitarist Tiny Grimes before setting off on his solo career.

During the ‘60s Garner established his own record label. These LP’s have been reissued on CD by Telarc and reveal Garner’s sense of humor. The title cut of That’s My Kick is a new composition based on the changes of “I Get a Kick Out of You”; the lounge set song, “More,” is remade into a burner; and Garner makes “Tea for Two” fresh, playing with the time against bongo accompaniment, and alternating between piano and harpsichord. Still, Concert By The Sea (1955) is the epitome of his artistry.

His older brother Linton, who died in 2003, was also an accomplished pianist, based in Vancouver, B.C.

- Sandra Burlingame


Original Misty

Erroll Garner



Concert by the Sea

Erroll Garner



That's My Kick & Gemini

Erroll Garner



Dreamstreet/One World Concert

Erroll Garner



The Essence of Erroll Garner

Erroll Garner
Reading and Viewing

At Amazon.com you can often buy used for a fraction of the new price


James M. Doran

Erroll Garner: The Most Happy Piano (Studies in Jazz, No 3)

Scarecrow Press

(Out of print but can be ordered used)


Erroll Garner, Sy Johnson (Composer)

The Erroll Garner Anthology

Cherry Lane Music


Erroll Garner

The Music Of Erroll Garner

Cherry Lane Music


Erroll Garner

Erroll Garner - In Performance (1964)

DVD


Duke Everts, George Fargo, Donna Mills

Play Misty for Me

Universal Studios

VHS Directed by Clint Eastwood

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