Monday, June 15, 2009

O incomparável pianista e compositor Errol Garner nasceu no 15 de junho de 1921 em Pittsburgh na Pensilnvânia, e ao lado de Fats Waller e Art Tatum, foi um dos maiores pianistas da história do jazz.

Autodidata e sem saber ler uma nota, as apresentações de Garner eram sempre inesquecíveis. Compôs "Misty" e as suas interpretações de "My Romance", "The Coffee Song" e "Cheek to Cheek" são antológicas.

Clique para vê-lo em ação em "Where or When" e "The Lady is a Tramp". Existe alguem que toca desse jeito? Impossivel.

The Great Erroll Garner Legacy
By Mike Hennessey
George Wein regarded him as "a great musical genius".
Hugues Panassié said of him, "He is not only the greatest pianist to emerge in jazz since World War II, but he is also the only one who has created a new style which is in the true jazz tradition, one which constitutes the essence of this music."
Mary Lou Williams revered him as "an asset and inspiration to the jazz world."
Steve Allen said he was "the greatest popular pianist of our century."
They were talking about Erroll Louis Garner, the formidably accomplished and incredibly prolific self-taught pianist who first began exploring the piano keyboard at the age of three and went on to become a genuine jazz legend. His professional career spanned almost four decades and, in that time, he recorded for dozens of different labels, sometimes solo, mostly with his own trio. His recorded output occupies 33 pages in Tom Lord's The Jazz Discography. He made altogether more than 200 albums.
Garner was an amazingly energetic and resourceful musician with a phenomenal ear, remarkable memory and an astonishing independence of right and left hands. He was completely ambidextrous and could write and play tennis right or left handed with equal facility. He was also a sensitive, intelligent and rather shy man with a sunny dispositiion and an impish humour and he never took himself or his art too seriously.
A Telarc six-CD set of recordings made by Erroll Garner between December 1959 and October 1973 -- simply entitled Erroll Garner -- offers an abundant and representative sample of the prodigious and incomparable Garner legacy. The set comprises 12 original albums, now available for the first time in digital CD format -- altogether a selection of 118 numbers, the vast majority of which come from the great American popular song repertoire.
For some unfathomable reason, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Garner's birthplace) and its environs have managed to produce some of jazz's most distinctive and individualistic pianists, starting in 1905 with Earl "Fatha" Hines and continuing with Mary Lou Williams (1910), Erroll Garner (1921), Dodo Marmarosa (1925), Ahmad Jamal (1930), Horace Parlan (1930), and Sonny Clark (1931).
Erroll Garner, whose father, a trumpet player, elder brother, Linton, a pianist, and three sisters were all musical, was a schoolmate of Dodo Marmarosa. When Garner was only ten years old, he became a member of the Kan-D-Kids, a group of young entertainers on KDKA Radio. At 16 he joined the band of local saxophonist Leroy Brown, with whom he stayed for four years.
Afterwards he freelanced in the Pittsburgh area before moving to New York in 1944.
Garner's distinctive and immediately recognizable keyboard style, with its potent dynamics and infectious swing, has been widely imitated. As Brian Priestley has observed, "At an amateur level, more players attempted to imitate him than any other pianist in jazz history".
One of his biggest hits was "Laura", recorded in September 1945, and his live Concert By The Sea album, recorded in September 1955, was one of the best selling jazz albums of all time.
Garner was also a gifted composer.

In addition to "Misty", his most successful original, written in 1971, he also produced such appealing themes as "Erroll's Bounce", "Dreamy", "Nightwind", "That's My Kick", "Gaslight", "Mood Island", "The Loving Touch", "Paris Mist", "Dreamstreet", and "It Gets Better Every Time".
There's also Garner's memorable interpretations of standards like "A Fine Romance", "Three O'Clock In The Morning", "The Coffee Song", "Cheek To Cheek", "Lover Come Back To Me" and "Blue Lou". Though, for me, far and away the most exhilerating veresion of "Blue Lou" is that which Garner recorded at a Gene Norman "Just Jazz" concert in Pasadena in April 1947 with Wardell Gray, Irving Ashby, Red Callender and Jackie Mills. My favorite Garner recording of all time.

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