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Erroll Garner’s “Concert By the Sea” as 3-CD Box by Sony Legacy

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I guess it is supposed to be "deluxe". I do have one long shelf for these odd packages.

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It's as tall as Errol was short, or maybe almost as tall as Errol was. Maybe that's the joke, a packaging pun or something. I'd have preferred something like the sound of crashing waves everything you open it up, like on the birthday cards that play bad pop songs. Or maybe a refillable spritzer that splashes you in the face every time you open it, that would be funny (at least once). Hell, perhaps even an inflatable phone book to sit on while listening, there you go, peripherals.

My shelves will hold those old Japanese mini LP replica things, just barely, and mostly. This one noticeably exceeds those. This thing is going to have to be stored flat, which I can do, but I mean, seriously, wtf? "deluxe" does not mean "dysfunctional", those are two different words..

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It is an odd packaging size. But the sound is very good!

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An article this week in the San Jose Mercury News touched on this release as well as Geri Allen's performance at MJF this weekend commemorating the original performance by Erroll Garner:

On Sept. 19, 1955, Lyons brought pianist Erroll Garner and his trio to Carmel's Sunset Auditorium for a concert that was captured by a recording engineer for Armed Forces Radio. Quickly released by Columbia as "Concert by the Sea," the album was a huge hit, establishing Garner as one of the most popular pianists in jazz.

 
 

The Monterey Jazz Festival celebrates the 60th anniversary of that fateful performance on Friday with "The Erroll Garner Project: Concert by the Sea," a project spearheaded by pianist Geri Allen. A brilliant and probing improviser, Allen decided to explore Garner's music and legacy with a multigenerational cast, including pianists Jason Moran and Christian Sands, guitarist Russell Malone, bassist Darek Oles and 86-year-old drum legend Jimmy Cobb.

Read the full piece at:

http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_28831372/monterey-jazz-fest:-remembering-a-watershed-concert

 

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Since I bought this through Amazon Prime, it's now available on my Roku on the Amazon Music "channel". I listened through the first 8 cuts last night while unwinding for sleep, and maybe I was just restless, but it was one of those things where although I knew what every song was, they all sorta ended up sound identical, if that makes any sense. Not sure if this is gonna be something I listen to more than once or twice. OTOH, lotta music left, and I laugh at the idea that I can listen to the entire package without cracking the cellophane.

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Just got this email, and really, I have no complaint about any of it, it's a historical document, part of American history, and this package for this price...no complaints.

Greetings from Amazon.com.

You saved $1.99 with Amazon.com's Pre-order Price Guarantee!

The price of the item(s) decreased after you ordered them, and we gave 
you the lowest price.

The following title(s) decreased in price:

The Complete Concert By The Sea
              Price on order date: $15.98
        Price charged at shipping: $13.99
 Lowest price before release date: $13.99
                         Quantity: 1
                    Total Savings: $1.99           

$1.99 is your total savings under our Pre-order Price Guarantee. 

Yeah, weirdass packaging, kinda (to this point) samey music (but that's ALWAYS been my impression of this album), but hell, 14 bucks is not over-priced in even the most bizzare of Bizzaro Worlds, and lord knows, even if there is more "stimulating" Errol Garner records to be had, the guy's been on the wrong side of the verge of forgotten-ness for a while now, so let the floodgates of rediscovery and reappreciation now be opened.

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http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/20/arts/music/erroll-garners-concert-by-the-sea-gets-a-new-sound.html

A windfall and in some ways a revelation, the boxed set is just the first sign of a major archival effort around Garner that seems likely to raise his stature in the jazz pantheon, and to reaffirm his place in the lineage of jazz pianists.

The trove, housed in eight different storage spaces, included contracts, memorabilia and more than 1,700 recordings, many of them unreleased studio sessions. 

Looks like previous speculation as to whether this new release was the harbinger of more to come in the post-Martha Glaser era may have been spot on.  

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...a week’s worth of live recordings at the Village Gate in 1965.

Ok, let's have a look at that, please.

And let's get this back out and push it to #1 on all the charts that are fit to print...without making any references to The Pianist Who Shall Be Unnamed, THIS is how I want to hear this type of thing done, with a very real sense of hey, I don't know where I'm going to end up next any more than you do, I just know how I'm going to kind of work my way through it, because what, ME worry? ME? You're kidding right? I'm Erroll Garner, and surprise YOU? Oh hell no, surprise ME, dammit, I LIVE for that surprise shit.

Concert By the Sea (in its original form) has never really been a favorite, kinda un-surprise-y-ish, but if it gets people today to this type of Garner (which it well might, because today, for so many people, it's ALL history, so, like it must've all happened at once, right? Or at least in a day or two, because that's how long it takes me to listen to it all), then go ahead on with that.

One question though...other than on his birth certificate, when did Denzil Best become Denzil DaCosta Best?

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Musicians union card info copied to recording contract.

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I really hope Mosaic has a shot at getting some of this material.  I would just love a gigantic Mosaic set entitled "The Complete Erroll Garner Live at The Village Gate 1965".

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Listened to the first nine tracks in the car last night. Was surprised at how patterned/seemingly worked out in advance a fair amount of the playing was, which is not my impression of  most of the trio and solo studio work that Garner did for Columbia at around that time -- the solo sessions being especially free-wheeling. OTOH, there was a good deal of good fun and inventiveness on the tracks I heard; I'm not unhappy, though I wonder why Garner at this concert seemed to be in a rather "selling the product" mode, if indeed I'm right about that. I mean, he played in front of good-sized audiences all the time, and in his more free-wheeling modes he was, deservedly, still a big a crowd pleaser. 

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I've been using this as my falling asleep music for a few nights now, and on one of the ballads, I began to wonder how much of an effect Garner's overall shaping of his ballads had on Don Patterson, or maybe even Red Garland. Or was that just a thing that was in the air?

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I've been using this as my falling asleep music for a few nights now, and on one of the ballads, I began to wonder how much of an effect Garner's overall shaping of his ballads had on Don Patterson, or maybe even Red Garland. Or was that just a thing that was in the air?

Garland for sure (I think Red happily acknowledged this), particularly in the way for Garner and for Garland on slow ballads added notes transform the floridity into a kind of hyper-floridity that is arguably ironic or some such mode that may in fact be nameless. In this vein, check out Garland's stunning, slow motion, two-chorus, 10-minute reading of "Mr. Wonderful" with Doug Watkins and Specs Wright on "Rediscovered Masters Vol. 2" (before that it was on a Prestige 2-LP set). There's another "Mr. Wonderful" on "At the Prelude" (I think) with Wright and Jimmy Rowser, but it's not as hallucinatory as the one with Watkins. Working backwards a bit, there's motion/rotors turning inside Garner's slow ballads, and there is too with Garland.

BTW, when Dan Morgenstern was co-producing a Chicago Public TV jazz show in the late '60s, it was one of his dreams to pair Garner and his trio (or maybe it was Garner solo) with Ben Webster. Martha Glaser said no. 

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The hyper-floridity, the continuous rolling and sweeping, has me wondering if the intent was to turn the piano back into the harp that it essentially is.

To that end...Erroll Garner to Alice Coltrane?

Edited by JSngry

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The hyper-floridity, the continuous rolling and sweeping, has me wondering if the intent was to turn the piano back into the harp that it essentially is.

To that end...Erroll Garner to Alice Coltrane?

Maybe so!!

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Listened to the first two discs. His piano is clearer here.  The Telarc twofers from his 60s and early 70s releases are all worth picking up as well.

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My copy is still in the mail ...

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Listened to the first two discs. His piano is clearer here.  The Telarc twofers from his 60s and early 70s releases are all worth picking up as well.

Look for this set to pop up cheap from time to time... I picked it up a few years ago when the Telarc boxes were showing up frequently at bargain prices:

Erroll Garner Telarc box

 

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Considering how many "live" albums from this period were studio forgeries, it is kind of surprising that they didn't just get this group in the studio and add canned crowd sounds.   

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Considering how many "live" albums from this period were studio forgeries, it is kind of surprising that they didn't just get this group in the studio and add canned crowd sounds.   

Because they thought that this concert captured Garner in peak form?

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I got my copy of this set yesterday. The packaging is really terrible! I can't fit that boxset easily anywhere.

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Listened to the first two discs. His piano is clearer here.  The Telarc twofers from his 60s and early 70s releases are all worth picking up as well.

Look for this set to pop up cheap from time to time... I picked it up a few years ago when the Telarc boxes were showing up frequently at bargain prices:

Erroll Garner Telarc box

Wow, I was unaware of this box..looks to me to be prime 60s material from Mercury/Phillips/London, right?

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Listened to the first two discs. His piano is clearer here.  The Telarc twofers from his 60s and early 70s releases are all worth picking up as well.

Look for this set to pop up cheap from time to time... I picked it up a few years ago when the Telarc boxes were showing up frequently at bargain prices:

Erroll Garner Telarc box

Wow, I was unaware of this box..looks to me to be prime 60s material from Mercury/Phillips/London, right?

 

Not sure about "prime," at least in terms of backing. There are two albums with horns as a backdrop ("Up in Errol's Room" and "A New Kind of Love")  that I recall as not being ideal -- sampling might be in order first, if possible -- but "Closeup in Swing," "Campus Concert," and "Feeling is Believing" are all quite good, and "At the Movies" is superb, one of my favorites Garner albums.

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