Red Garland: Paul Chambers, Sam Jones (double bass); Art Taylor (drums).
Personnel: Red Garland (piano); Red Garland; Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis (tenor saxophone); Albert "Tootie" Heath (drums); Ray Barretto (congas).
Additional personnel: Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis , Kenny Burrell, Ray Barretto.
Audio Remasterer: Joe Tarantino.
Liner Note Author: George Kanzler.
Recording information: Englewood Cliffs, NJ (08/17/1956-04/02/1960); Van Gelder Studios, Hackensack, NJ (08/17/1956-04/02/1960).
Photographer: Esmond Edwards.
One of the finest pianists of his era, Red Garland is best known for his work with Miles Davis's first great quintet, but he also led many superb dates for Prestige in the late 1950s and early '60s. Garland often played in a trio format, inviting guest musicians to sit in now and then. Prestige's BEST OF THE RED GARLAND TRIOS collects 10 tracks of Garland performing with top-shelf players, including bassist Paul Chambers, drummer Art Taylor, guitarist Kenny Burrell, and saxophonist Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis.
There is a healthy dose of standards here ("The Nearness of You;" "Summertime"), and the Latin-themed, Dizzy Gillespie-penned "Manteca" (which receives a shot in the arm from congeuro Ray Barretto), with plenty of room for all of the musicians to cut loose throughout. As usual, Garland is the glue that holds it all together--his swinging solos, light touch, and block-chord voicings are on abundant display in these fine examples of blues-inflected hard bop.