This week's featured release is actually not at all new; it's a recent
reissue that's well worth your notice: Sony Legacy's 60th anniversary reissue
of Erroll Garner's beautiful live album The Complete Concert by the Sea.
Originally recorded in Carmel, Calif., in September 1955, Concert by the
Sea featured Garner's intricate, inventive playing with the other members of
his Erroll Garner Trio, bassist Eddie Calhoun
and drummer Denzil Best. The concert was hosted by announcer Jimmy Lyons, as
part of Lyons' Sunset Series, held in the assembly hall of Sunset
School, which was later converted to the performing arts venue the Sunset
Center. The Sunset Series was a precursor to the famed Monterey Jazz Festival.
This expanded reissue includes 11 previously unreleased tracks and
interviews, and adds announcer commentary from Lyons. All of the material was
co-produced by Guggenheim Award-winning jazz pianist and Director of Jazz
Studies at the University of Pittsburgh Geri Allen, and 4-time Grammy winning
producer/engineer Steve Rosenthal, who also remastered the recordings in his
studio, The Magic Shop (New York City).
The three-disc reissue is not only an important historical
piece for jazz collectors, but also, of course, a joyous treat for music lovers
of all persuasions. Highlights include an ornate and darkly romantic
"Night and Day," joyous uptempo versions of "Where or When"
and "Lullaby of Birdland," and a sweetly moving "April in
Paris." Nominated for a Grammy this year, this album still thrills
listeners with serious musical artistry and virtuosity that seriously swing.