Personnel: Erroll Garner (piano); Wyatt Ruther (bass); Eugene Heard (drums).
Recorded in Chicago, Illinois on July 27, 1954.
Digitally remastered by Dennis Drake (Polygram Studios).
There are only so many songs that rank in the first chapter of the American songbook alongside Hoagy Carmichael's "Stardust," and a handful of beloved Irving Berlin and George Gershwin tunes. Erroll Garner's "Misty," however, is one of them. One of the most recognized and interpreted standards in the jazz repertoire, "Misty" is Erroll Garner's signature composition, and THE ORIGINAL MISTY CD marks the first digital appearance of the tune's initial recording. As legend has it, Garner composed the song in his head as he was flying to the recording session (July 27, 1954); then, once he arrived, he sat down and recorded it in one take.
Given the thousands of interpretations of "Misty" that followed and will continue to follow, hearing this original version is a historical and musical thrill. The song is also a showcase for Garner's lush lyricism and fluid phrasing. The rest of the album is equally engaging, with Garner taking on several standards including Duke Ellington's "In a Mellow Tone" and George Gershwin's "Oh, Lady Be Good." From the same session as "Misty," these songs were also recorded in one take, and feature Garner's famous blend of ragtime exuberance, advanced technical prowess, and pop-song accessibility.