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Red Garland: Swingin’ on the Korner: Live at Keystone Korner

Read "Swingin’ on the Korner: Live at Keystone Korner" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

It's often been written about many (sometimes less deserving) artists, but in his case it's genuinely true: Pianist Red Garland played on too many classic jazz albums--especially in bop quintets led by Miles Davis and John Coltrane--to fully count. Swingin' on the Korner, a 1977 trio date with bassist Leroy Vinnegar and drummer Philly Joe Jones recorded live at Keystone Korner, adds one more title to this uncountable list. Swingin' reunites Garland with drummer Jones, who teamed with Garland and ...

FROM THE INSIDE OUT

Music’s Where You Find It

Read "Music’s Where You Find It" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Ajoyo Ajoyo Ropeadope 2014 Multi-reed player Yacine Boulares has picked up, and left behind, musical footprints literally all around the world. He was born in North Africa (Tunisia) but grew up in Paris, where he studied philosophy at the Sorbonne and jazz performance at the National Conservatory and New School for Jazz. As a Fulbright scholar, Boulares continued his musical studies and began his professional career in New York City, where he deeply connected ...

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Red Garland: Swingin’ on the Korner: Live at Keystone Korner

Read "Swingin’ on the Korner: Live at Keystone Korner" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Dismissed as a subpar “cocktail pianist" when he joined Miles Davis' first great quintet in 1955 when Davis had returned from chemical exile, William “Red" Garland would go on to define mainstream jazz piano on a series of recordings (as leader and sideman) taped between 1955 and 1962. Readily identifiable was his easy swing, supreme command of the blues and his liberal use of block chords that became a Garland trademark. The pianist would anchor a piano trio with bassist ...

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Red Garland: The 1956 Trio

Read "The 1956 Trio" reviewed by Eric J. Iannelli

By the time pianist Red Garland recorded the amalgam of tracks on this essential disc, he'd been playing with the Miles Davis Quintet for about a year. Although he had performed alongside big names before, including Charlie Parker and Lester Young), The Quintet (as it would come to be known) was truly an all-star lineup: Garland, plus John Coltrane, Philly Joe Jones and Paul Chambers. Garland--with a modest profile in 1955 that would more or less remain that way--reached a ...

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Red Garland: Red Garland's Piano

Read "Red Garland's Piano" reviewed by Samuel Chell

Bass players owe Red Garland the biggest debt of all whereas piano players may be forgiven for blaming their left-handed awkwardness on the incalculable influence of the former boxer-turned-pianist. Because of Garland, pianists no longer voiced, for example, a C7 chord in root position (C-E-G-Bb) but made a habit of placing the third (E) or flatted seventh (Bb) on bottom, while assigning the bassist the chord's root.

Suddenly bassists were every pianist's best friend (or enemy, in the case of ...

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Red Garland: Red Garland Trio at the Prelude

Read "Red Garland Trio at the Prelude" reviewed by Dr. Judith Schlesinger

This double-disc set gathers material from four previous albums that dribbled out over twenty years, from the '60s to the '80s. It's the complete record of one night in Harlem--October 2, 1959--when the Red Garland trio did three sets at a club called the Prelude. The night was historic for many reasons; my focus is what the music actually sounds like, and why it's still of interest nearly half a century later.

Aside from the incomparable energy of a live ...

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Red Garland: Red Garland

Read "Red Garland" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Red Garland (1923-84) is often critically dismissed a cocktail pianist only worthy of tinkling in the background of a lounge, but his depth as a musician is much deeper than that. A member of the first classic Miles Davis Quintet (with John Coltrane), Garland won favor with the bandleader for the way he used musical space, approximating the approach of pianist Ahmad Jamal. As a part of that band, Garland helped shape a good deal of Davis' Prestige output, as ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Red Garland Trio At The Prelude

Read "Red Garland Trio At The Prelude" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Red Garland Red Garland Trio At The Prelude (Complete) Prestige Records 1959/2006

Following the success of Bill Evans: The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961 (Riverside 3RCD-4443-2, 2005) the Concord Music Group has slated for release several historically complete thematic sets. Among these is The Red Garland Trio At The Prelude. The some 135 minutes of music comprising three sets on the evening of October 2, 1959 at Harlem's Prelude Club, has characteristically been released ...

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Red Garland: Red Garland's Piano

Read "Red Garland's Piano" reviewed by David Rickert

Red Garland's career got a boost with a stint in Miles Davis's first great quintet, where his laid-back, bluesy style perfectly suited the small group swing of the classic Prestige dates. But Garland was also capable of holding the spotlight all on his own and crafted a series of appealing trio recordings for the same label. Red Garland's Piano (1957) showcases what made the pianist a man worthy of admiration: a firm left hand provided a punchy rhythm while the ...

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Red Garland: Red Alone

Read "Red Alone" reviewed by Derek Taylor

Solo piano sessions hold only a fraction of the mystique they once did in jazz. These days it’s far from uncommon for a pianist to crank out a session of him- or herself alone at the ivories, the precedence for the practice having long since been set. But back when this recently reissued Moodsville album came out, the format was still relatively fresh. The idea of an improviser left solely to his own devices at the keys carried a heavy ...

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Red Garland: Stretching Out

Read "Stretching Out" reviewed by David Rickert

Down the road Red Garland will probably only be remembered for his brief stint with Miles Davis, but he also recorded some fine trio work as well. This two-fer captures two sessions, about two-thirds of which were recorded live. At first, Garland seems like little more than a talented cocktail pianist, but as each tunes progresses he proves himself to be a worthy interpreter of tunes, and a hell of an improviser. Many of these tracks approach the ten minute ...

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Red Garland (Jazzland / OJC OJCCD-1064-2: Red's Good Groove

Read "Red's Good Groove" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

When Red is Blue.

 

And Red is always blue when he records. Death, Taxes, and Red Garland playing the blues— One can count on all of these things. Red's Good Groove was recorded in early 1962 by the Miles Davis nucleus of Garland and drummer Philly Joe Jones. Sam Jones replaces the ubiquitous Paul Chambers and Blue Mitchell and Pepper Adams round out the not-so-common trumpet-baritone front. This is a brief and relaxed session that finds some rather intricate ...