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Erroll Garner: Nightconcert

Mike Jurkovic By

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Erroll Garner's exuberance and love for his instrument, his music, his players, and his audience breaks today's poisoned and polarized air from the very first note of "Where or When" from Nightconcert, the archival release from the Erroll Garner Project, released on Mack Avenue Records.

Recorded with a visceral intimacy and immediacy on November 7, 1964 at the fabled Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Nightconcert is peak Garner, pure and simple, no holds barred. Featuring Garner and his classic cohorts, bassist Eddie Calhoun and drummer Kelly Martin performing to a packed house of 2,000 appreciative and enraptured fans. And now we are there too.

Like Louis Armstrong, that other world ambassador of music as a celebration of humanity, Garner leads the music into his open-hearted mischievousness with a deft, irresistible charm and light hand. Striding, rollicking, swinging, and ever bopping; with his bag of tricks wide open for clarion, quirky left hand clusters, fanciful, classical interludes, and a radiant, melodic sense that knew no bounds, Nightconcert is an uplifting, spirit affirming listen and a definitive addition to Garner's glowing canon of posthumous releases. It also holds historical significance by revealing eight never before heard Garner interpretations ("On Green Dolphin Street" among them) and three originals: "Theme From A New Kind of Love (All Yours)," "No More Shadows" and a new composition titled "That Amsterdam Swing."

But with so complete and beguiling a performance as this, it's an injustice to highlight one tune over another, one performance over another. The audience applauds mightily each time it recognizes a tune after Garner's playful intros. How Martin and Calhoun stood ready for every spontaneous twist is still a marvel of human connectedness and proves again and again that there was no melody these three couldn't take to the playground and frolic with. Put simply, this is a must listen. A must have.

Track Listing: Where Or When; Easy To Love; On Green Dolphin Street; Theme From “A New Kind Of Love” (All Yours); Night And Day; Cheek To Cheek; My Funny Valentine; Gypsy In My Soul; That Amsterdam Swing; Over The Rainbow; What Is This Thing Called Love; Laura; When Your Lover Has Gone; No More Shadows; S'Wonderful; Thanks For The Memory.

Personnel: Erroll Garner:- piano; Eddie Calhoun: bass; Kelly Martin: drums.

Title: Nightconcert | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Mack Avenue Records

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