Down Beat - 9/95, p.384 Stars
- Very Good - "...On some numbers he heaps on climbing superstructures of chords through which one may glimpse some cubist abstraction of the tune, then he cuts to a streamlined single note line that swings like mad. It's like a big band breaking for a solo..."
2 LPs on 1 CD: MAGICIAN (1974)/GERSHWIN AND KERN (1976).
Includes liner notes by Donald Elfman and Martha Glaser.
Digitally remastered by Allan Tucker.
Personnel: Erroll Garner (piano); Norman Gold (organ); Bob Cranshaw (acoustic & electric basses); Jose Mangual (congas); Jackie Williams (tambourine); Grady Tate (percussion).
GERSHWIN AND KERN:
Personnel: Errol Garner (piano); Eddie Calhoun, Charles "Ike" Isaacs (bass); Kelly Martin, Jimmy Smith (drums); Jose Mangual (congas).
Two of Errol Garner's last albums, Magician and Gershwin and Kern, are reissued on this single CD. The pianist, heading trios or quartets, is in typically whimsical and hard-swinging form; he never did decline on record. The former session includes several of his originals plus versions of "Close to You" and "Watch What Happens" that manage to uplift those pop tunes; the latter date has consistently superior material. Garner's very spontaneous playing is as usual both unpredictable and quite accessible and these unedited performances were all first takes. No one ever really sounded like Erroll Garner and this highly enjoyable set of formerly rare material gives one a good example of his magical music. ~ Scott Yanow