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Red Garland: Stretching Out

David Rickert By

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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 mark, and the fact that Garland can maintain interest for this long, as well as coming with interesting variations on tunes like the boxy “Satin Doll,” is quite a feat. The novel tune selection certainly helps as well; many of these tracks were too fresh to be considered standards at the time of the recording, and thus had not worn out their welcome. However, one has to wonder why Garland felt the need to solo quite so long on every tune when more variety would have been nice. The rhythm section provides breezy support behind Garland’s cheerful ivory tickling, with the occasional allotted solo. A fine piano trio record.

Track Listing: Satin Doll; The Man I Love; A Little Bit of Basie; It's A Blue World; M-Squad Theme; Lil' Darlin'; BLues in the Closet; Like Someone In Love.

Personnel: Red Garland-piano; Jimmy Rowser, Doug Watkins-bass; Specs Wright-drums.

Title: Stretching Out | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Fantasy Jazz

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