Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Erroll Garner - Body & Soul

As was the case with Fats Waller, Erroll Garner's natural and advanced musical talent ingratiated him to jazz aficionados and experts alike. Garner took to the piano intuitively, never needing to take lessons because of his exceptional ear for music. Further breaking the mold, he transcended many of the jazz styles he came up with, including both swing and bebop. You hear the power of swing pianist Earl Hines in his fleet and robust approach, and, yes, he once played with Charlie Parker, but as heard on this Columbia collection from 1951-1952, Garner concocts a unique blend of the big band's svelte rhythms and bebop's heady swing. On the 20 gems found on Body and Soul, Garner employs a rush of dynamics, yet never compromises the inherent lyricism of the set's many standards. This balancing act cuts across a varied set of brisk swingers (Waller's "Honeysuckle Rose"), fine ballads ("I Can't Get Started"), and medium-tempo strollers ("It's the Talk of the Town"). In light of Garner's thoroughly engaging and self-contained work at the piano, even the fact that bassist John Simmons and drummer Shadow Wilson are practically inaudible becomes negligible. Garner bolsters many of these "little symphonies" with clever intros : a miniature recasting of the song's chord and harmonic structure, heard to sublime effect here on "Summertime" and "Body and Soul" (Garner would expand these preambles in the future, particularly on solo piano outings). And in response to criticisms of his playing being too ornate (extra tremolo on the ballads), it should be said that part of Garner's charm is his "old-fashioned" phrasing, part of the romantic and urbane touch he employs to keep said indulgences in check most of the time. Body and Soul is a fine collection of early Garner sides. Highly recommended.
Stephen Cook

Source :

Erroll Garner
Body And Soul


1 The Way You Look Tonight (Fields, Kern)  3:45
2 Body and Soul (Eyton, Green, Heyman, Sour)  2:59
3 (Back Home Again In) Indiana (F. Hanley, MacDonald)  2:06
4 Honeysuckle Rose (Razaf, Waller)  3:24
5 I'm in the Mood for Love (Fields, McHugh)  3:37
6 I Can't Get Started (Duke, Gershwin)  2:57
7 Play, Piano, Play (Garner)  2:23
8 Undecided (Robin, Shavers)  3:08
9 You're Blasé (Hamilton, Sievier)  2:41
10 Sophisticated Lady (Ellington, Mills, Parish)  2:49
11 Ain't She Sweet ? (Ager, Yellen)  2:42
12 I Didn't Know What Time It Was (Hart, Rodgers)  2:47
13 Fine and Dandy (James, Swift)  2:21
14 Robbins Nest (Jacquet, Thompson)  3:18
15 Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone (Clare, H. Stept)  3:13
16 It's the Talk of the Town (Livingston, Neiburg, Symes)  3:17
17 You're Driving Me Crazy (Donaldson)  2:26
18 Ja-Da (Carlton)  3:07
19 Summertime (Gershwin, Gershwin, Heyward)  2:59
20 I Never Knew (Kahn, Fio Rito)  2:39


Erroll Garner - p
John Simmons - b
Shadow Wilson - dr

Recorded in New York City, January 11, 1951 [# 1-8] ; Los Angeles, California ; July 2, 1951 [# 9-16] ; & New York ; January 3, 1952 [# 17-20]


Melanchthon said...

Chris said...

Thanks Mel, love Erroll's "old-fashioned" phrasing, didn't have this one.

Otis Foster said...

Thnx for a sound upgrade melanchthon

deGallo said...

Love Garner! Thank you.

Pedro del Castillo Alonso said...

Thank you Mel

lucky5 said...

Thank you for the Flacs!

Doug said...

Fantastic!Many thanks.

Jazzsoulman said...

Thank You

Kovina Kris said...

Thank you for the updgrade sir!