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.