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Larry Kart

Erroll Garner, a Mosaic Box natural

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Trolling through some of the fine Garner on YouTube, e.g.:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EByVyGKpv9s...feature=related

I thought what a natural a collection of his voluminous Columbia material would be for Mosaic. But I assume his all-powerful, all-controlling manager Martha Glaser (or her estate, if she's no longer with us), makes that impossible. I know that Glaser blocked just about anything that anyone proposed re: Garner if she didn't think of it first. Perhaps Chris Albertson knows more.

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Aha--I was wondering why on earth Garner's representation on CD was kind of spotty; hadn't known of the estate issues. -- I'm still baffled why there seems to be no recent remastering of Concert by the Sea (it'll never sound GOOD but I'm sure more could be done with it nowadays).

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For myself, I can't imagine listening to all of those trio recordings. I'd be happy with a well chosen Select - but that's just me.

The recordings he did for Mercury that were released on Emarcy in the 1990's seem to have gone out of print. The only one I have in my collection is Solo Time!, and that's a wonderful album. If the rest of his Mercury recordings are even close to that one, that material would make a very good Mosaic box. Probably not out of print for a long enough time to be feasible.

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Trolling through some of the fine Garner on YouTube, e.g.:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EByVyGKpv9s...feature=related

I thought what a natural a collection of his voluminous Columbia material would be for Mosaic. But I assume his all-powerful, all-controlling manager Martha Glaser (or her estate, if she's no longer with us), makes that impossible. I know that Glaser blocked just about anything that anyone proposed re: Garner if she didn't think of it first. Perhaps Chris Albertson knows more.

Martha has neither called me nor sent me a note in a very long time, so I am assuming that she has moved on to a place where Errol's is just another name on the list of residents.

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A Mosaic box was planned and the 'estate' nixed it.

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The Garner material thru July 1954 has been released on Classics and is available thru Worlds Records among others. The Solo session of March 1955 is available from many sources. "The Concert by the Sea" tapes are alive and well in the Sony/Columbia vaults. A 2 CD set would be possible with the following unissued tracks.

Night and Day,Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year,The Nearness of You,Sweet and Lovely,Lullaby of Birdland,Will You Still Be Mine ?,I Cover The Waterfront,Bernie's Tune,S'Wonderful,Laura and Caravan.

Martha Glaser suffers from dimentia and has faded away. The status of Garner material is uncertain.

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Martha has suffered from "dimentia", at least, since Erroll passed away.

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I think you have that wrong, Chuck. Glaser dementia is what record producers have prayed for since Erroll passed away. Not only did Martha not suffer from dementia in the years that followed, she seemed to have a crystal ball tuned in to anyone who even gave a Garner reissue some thought. :)

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I think you have that wrong, Chuck. Glaser dementia is what record producers have prayed for since Erroll passed away. Not only did Martha not suffer from dementia in the years that followed, she seemed to have a crystal ball tuned in to anyone who even gave a Garner reissue some thought. :)

Can you explain her purpose for this behavior ?

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Kinda a mother hen thing, overly protective/possessive. Guess she didn't need the money--she really went overboard in protecting Garner's material, IMO. Was it love? Perhaps. Helen Keane was a little bit that way re Bill Evans. BTW, I got along very well with both these ladies.

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Protecting Garner from What ???? HUHn !!!! I thought Helen Keane Passed away years ago ???

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She was "protecting" Garner's intellectual property, which had become her's. Did I say that Helen Keane was still alive?

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What was she protecting Garner from ? My apology on Helen Keane ? I would really like to know what you are saying about Garner ??

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Basically, Martha wanted to approve or disapprove any reissue decisions--in other words, she wanted to control the production. This is a producer's nightmare. I can understand Martha wanting to approve of any use of unissued or alternate material, but complete control is, I think, asking too much. She was a pain in the neck, really. The only reason I got along so well with her and Helen is that I never worked on a Garner project and the one time I worked with Bill Evans was when I devoted one of my TV shows to him and his trio--Helen saw that as a positive and made no attempt to dictate terms.

Have I cleared this up for you?

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I'd guess that I own about 500 Jazz CDs and I have ZERO Garner (not counting a handful of songs on compilations). I am typically enthusiastic about exploring unfamiliar artists and would love to hear more of Errol's work. It's a damn shame that his "Estate" is crippling his legacy and blocking newer jazz fans from discovering his catalog.

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Brute -- There are quite a few well-packed inexpensive Garner compilations available. These for example:

http://www.amazon.com/Magician-Gershwin-Ke...ks_all_1#disc_1

http://www.amazon.com/Dreamstreet-World-Co...=pd_sim_m_img_3

http://www.amazon.com/Thats-Kick-Gemini-Er...=pd_sim_m_img_1

http://www.amazon.com/Erroll-Garners-Fines...=pd_sim_m_img_5

Each of the first three (released under Glaser's aegis after Garner's death) combines two LPs from the latter phase of his career, and thus are good bargains. Musically, Garner never faltered. The last one above collects material from his Mercury days, before Columbia. One should definitely hear Garner from that period, for while he always remained fresh IMO, this was his early maturity. Another one on Telarc, like the first three, from the latter phase combines an LP I love ("At the Movies" -- Garner's sense of humor, always present, is almost beyond belief here at times), but it's combined with a Garner with big band LP, "Up in Erroll's Room," that I recall wasn't so hot.

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BTW, you'll note that the Gershwin-Kern Garner compilation contains two versions of "Someone To Watch Over Me." Sample them through the link and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by how joyfully different they are. It's a nice example of how Garner was always Garner but always in the moment.

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Basically, Martha wanted to approve or disapprove any reissue decisions--in other words, she wanted to control the production. This is a producer's nightmare. I can understand Martha wanting to approve of any use of unissued or alternate material, but complete control is, I think, asking too much. She was a pain in the neck, really. The only reason I got along so well with her and Helen is that I never worked on a Garner project and the one time I worked with Bill Evans was when I devoted one of my TV shows to him and his trio--Helen saw that as a positive and made no attempt to dictate terms.

Have I cleared this up for you?

Thank You

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It's a damn shame that his "Estate" is crippling his legacy and blocking newer jazz fans from discovering his catalog.

I was in the same spot in the early 1990s when I first started listening to jazz. What changed for me was vinyl shopping with a family friend visiting from Chicago. He put Dreamstreet in my hands and told me I had to buy it. He also told me if I ever found him a copy of Erroll Garner Plays Misty he would pay double for it. After digging the LP he told me stories about seeing Garner perform live and which LPs to buy, so I was hooked but most of the stuff I was able to find was on LP. Since the thread was started I looked at what is available and I am shocked at the number of "two fer"s and that there are so many volumes of the Classics out now.

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I'd guess that I own about 500 Jazz CDs and I have ZERO Garner (not counting a handful of songs on compilations). I am typically enthusiastic about exploring unfamiliar artists and would love to hear more of Errol's work. It's a damn shame that his "Estate" is crippling his legacy and blocking newer jazz fans from discovering his catalog.

You don't have to wait for a Mosaic to experience Erroll Garner's music. There's plenty available. For example: http://www.cduniverse.com/sresult.asp?HT_S...p;altsearch=yes

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I really like the Telarc release Closeup In Swing/A New Kind Of Love. The first album included is SUPERB!

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I have most of those Telarc releases and I recommend them. Garner's playing is a high level throughout though some of the sidemen are a bit lacking, IMO. I also have wondered when Concert by the Sea would be reissued so this thread has been enlightening.

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For myself, I can't imagine listening to all of those trio recordings. I'd be happy with a well chosen Select - but that's just me.

I can't say I disagree, but then I really love the Teddy Wilson Mosaic. I guess you would have to be one of those for whom the tried-n-true piano-trio format never gets old.

FWIW, I have a 2-LP compilation of Garner called Play it Again, Erroll that is just about as close to perfection as it gets, IHMO. Fits nicely onto one CD, too. Were it stretched out to Mosaic length, I'd probably enjoy that as well.

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His entire catalog is available at every thrift store. I can buy them all for 50 cents a piece and put them in my own box.

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