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Gemini

Gemini

Erroll Garner

Label: Mack Avenue
Format: CD
Barcode: 0673203116627
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Catalog number: MAC 1166
Releasedate: 17-04-20
- The tenth album of the Octave Remastered Series is here — a collection of music that is among the most important in the history of jazz.
- The series include newly restored transfers of the original master tapes, painstakingly remixed and mastered by Octave’s GRAMMY winning team of producers and engineers

The Octave Remastered Series -- a historic year-long, 12-album project featuring newly restored and expanded editions of classic Erroll Garner releases from the 1960s and 1970s – continues with the tenth release of Gemini.  As each edition does, Gemini contains a newly discovered, unreleased bonus track.

A more fitting title for this album does not exist. It is yet another example of just how well Erroll Garner knew and understood himself and his music. Perhaps his greatest talent was an ability to distill and communicate precisely who he was at any given moment. Here we find him perfectly embodying the definition of his sun sign. Whatever your views on astrology might be, all that is left to do is listen.

One of the most distinctive of all pianists, Erroll Garner proved that it was possible to be a sophisticated player without knowing how to read music, that a creative jazz musician can be very popular without watering down his music, and that it is possible to remain an enthusiastic player without changing one's style once it is formed. A brilliant virtuoso who sounded unlike anyone else, on medium tempo pieces, Erroll Garner often stated the beat with his left hand like a rhythm guitar while his right played chords slightly behind the beat, creating a memorable effect. His playful free-form introductions (which forced his sidemen to really listen), his ability to play stunning runs without once glancing at the keyboard, his grunting, and the pure joy that he displayed while performing were also part of the Erroll Garner magic.

Garner, whose older brother Linton was also a fine pianist, appeared on the radio with the Kan-D-Kids at the age of ten. After working locally in Pittsburgh, he moved to New York in 1944 and worked with Slam Stewart's trio during 1944-1945 before going out on his own. By 1946, Garner had his sound together, and when he backed Charlie Parker on his famous Cool Blues session of 1947, the pianist was already an obvious giant. His unclassifiable style had an orchestral approach straight from the swing era but was open to the innovations of bop. From the early '50s on, Garner's accessible style became very popular and he never seemed to have an off day up until his forced retirement (due to illness) in early 1975. His composition "Misty" became a standard. Garner, who had the ability to sit at the piano without prior planning and record three albums in one day (all colorful first takes), made many records throughout his career for such companies as Savoy, Mercury, RCA, Dial, Columbia, EmArcy, ABC-Paramount, MGM, Reprise, and his own Octave label.