Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Thats My Kick / Gemini
Genres: Jazz, Pop
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Daniel G. Carlin | St. Louis, MO | 06/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For those who aren't familiar with him, Erroll Garner was a true original. His slightly off-rhythm playing style, his occasional mumbles and grumbles during his solos, and his impeccable sense of melody all made him one of the great jazz pianist of all time. He never really originated a definable style such as Bird did for bop or Miles with modal jazz, or for that matter even fit into a particular movement, which could explain the fact that he never quite attained superstar status. Instead Garner always did his own thing, and it was never in better motion than on this excellent double CD."That's My Kick" and "Gemini" were two independently released LPs that are now, by virtue of their length and musical compatibility, put together on one CD. The sound is clear and warm, and Garner's energy is infectious on every track. Garner's pattern is generally to open with a quirky phrase or riff, then to settle into a steady groove on top of which he can fling his offbeat and often virtuosic solos. So many of the songs are standards, and part of the fun is hearing the way Garner masterfully weaves variations around the main theme, garnishing it with all kinds of musical flourishes, and always making it hipper than it originally was. A great example is "Autumn Leaves," in which Garner stretches the 4/4 time to the absolute limit, making the theme swing as much as humanly possible. These two albums are also remarkable for being so consistently original and enjoyable to listen to--there is hardly a down track on this disc, and there are some absolute gems. One of my personal favorites is "When a Gypsy (Makes his Violin Cry)," which Garner opens with some menacing low chords, but which soon becomes an ice-cool groove over which Garner lays a smooth, impossibly swinging piano solo, then an incredible solo in octaves on some sort of harpsichord. This is just one example of the effort Garner puts into making every track have its own identity and special flourish. He succeeds in doing it throughout this entire excellent disc."
Two Great Garner Efforts
Fabricio Monteagudo | USA | 12/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This two-album, single-CD package is a must-have for all Garner fans. On the first album, there are six Garner tunes, most of them new with the exception of a gorgeous 1945 gem from his earliest years, "Gaslight". The others are "Nervous Waltz" with a most humorous Bud Powell-inflected intro before the main theme and after the main theme, the rest as they say, is history. What a swinging even bluesy waltz!! His treatment of "Autumn Leaves" is particularly exhilarating especially when towards the end Jose Mangual sparks a few encouraging conga explosions to get the group more fired up in a more authentic Latin groove to end the track. Garner's treatment of Gershwin's "It Ain't Necessarily So" is most certainly a great demonstration of the art of the groove. Erroll Garner also had a great knack for transforming rather corny and uninteresting tunes (much like Louis Armstrong) and turn them into sparkling gems as in his superb, swinging version of "More".
On the second album "Gemini", there are several facets of Garner's talent presented in all their glory. First, his talent for updating warhorses such as his amazingly toe-tapping version of "How High The Moon" that includes a final chorus that sounds like an actual chase that seems almost impossible to achieve. Then again we are talking about the inscrutable genius of Erroll Garner. Among the corniest tunes ever written, "When a Gypsy Makes His Violin Cry" in the hands of Garner becomes spellbinding magic and demonstrates Garner expertise once again on the art of the groove, this time an infectious and seductive groove. Garner's blues "Gemini" shows off Garner's joie de vivre (possibly because it was a self-tribute to his zodiac sign being born June 15, 1921) Other great tunes to check out are his stunning renditions of "Tea for Two" and "These Foolish Things" and one of Garner's best groove tunes, "Eldorado". A cliffhanger version of George Harrison's "Something" showcases Garner's sly humor with a song. When all is said and done these two sessions from 1967 and 1972 respectively, represent some of the very best of Garner's later work. A must have for Garner fans."
And its Funky too ! ! !
Eddie Landsberg | Tokyo, Japan | 05/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These are two later Garner efforts... later and funkier... circa 1967 and 1972.
Garner fuses his signature sound, with a bit of Latin tinged soul Jazz funkyness... and it fits in just perfectly.
Garner afterall was funky long before funk (and we mustn't forget that he was even Jimmy Smith, one of the kings of soul Jazz's idol !)
My favorite tune on the recording is IT AIN'T NECESSARILY SO and IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU running a close second. Everything else tied for a close third (including a really strong opener - - I GET A KICK OUT OF YOU and a killer version of SHADOW OF YOUR SMILE.) Another high point is a little original bouncy gospel ditty called LIKE IT IS.
The choice of punchy latin percussion over traditional Jazz drumming at times makes the album painful dancable... and when the drummer finally starts swining - - WOW... pure Basie swing (with Garner's LH actually emulating Freddie Green's rock solid style of guitar strumming, but his right hand freely crossing the lines between older style stride and more modernistic post bop soloing !)
Of interesting note... Erroll Garner was a bit looked down by this era because of the "modern" direction Jazz was taking at the time... yet this album proves that he may have not been digging much into the whole modal/layer of sound thing... but he was definitely hipper and more booty shaking than anyone out there (including Horace Silver and Red Garland) - - and definitely had technique and concept coming from both ends...
The ensemble... as usual pretty much are hot and on their toes... but it is definitely Eroll's house...."