JJ 10/90: Erroll Garner – Concert By The Sea

Thirty years ago, Richard Palmer exhorted his readers to stop being fashionable and just enjoy the sheer extrovert gusto and pianistic mastery. First published in Jazz Journal October 1990


This is probably Garner’s most famous record, and it has at times been fashionable to be rather snooty about it. I really can’t see why, unless the answer lies in puerile snobbery or mere aural denseness. It may be true that other records find Garner in more enterprising or beguiling mood; but for sheer extrovert gusto and pianistic mastery you’ll mine his oeuvre in vain for any­thing better.

So many readers will welcome this back as an old friend that a detailed run-down of the tracks is probably unnecessary; but newcomers should find the turbo-powered I’ll Remember April and joyously raunchy Red Top parti­cular inducements to buy. I also never tire of All Right, a most en­gaging song that Garner treats with wit and prodigious swing.

CD transfer has been crisp and properly enchancing without los­ing the in-person ‘buzz’ that so distinguishes the session, and this medium-price issue is of course recommended to every­one.

I’ll Remember April; Teach Me Tonight; Mambo Carmel; Autumn Leaves; It’s All Right With Me; Red Top; April In Paris; They Can’t Take That Away From Me; How Could You Do A Thing Like That To Me?; Where Or When; Erroll’s Theme (43.42)
Erroll Garner (p); Eddie Calhoun (b); Denzil Best (d). Carmel, CA, September 19, 1955.
(CBS 451042)