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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 12 March 2017
A piece of muscal history
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on 19 May 2017
Very good
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on 4 August 2017
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 30 January 2014
Five HUGE Stars! Should be in every definitive jazz collection. It was recorded as a bootleg that was confiscated by Erroll's manager that night in Carmel California. It was then given to the head of Columbia records who cleaned it up and released it to big sales. Not much to add to the rapturous reviews already posted, except to help spread the fame of this MARVELOUS live recording by jazz Hall of Fame pianist and composer ("Misty") Erroll Garner who helped define the solo and trio jazz piano configurations in their formative years. So much so that he influenced a galaxy of future jazz pianists, some of whom don't realize it because his influence is through others who in turn influenced them. One of Erroll Garner's influences who states it at every occasion is another Hall of Famer: Ahmad Jamal, who then influenced Miles Davis, among others. Garner's influence? Art Tatum. Many older jazz fans can recite the personnel from memory because at the end the announcer announces the personnel in a distinctive manner and then tries to coax Erroll to speak to the audience in his unique deep voice (which he does): Eddie Calhoun on bass and Denzil DaCosta Best on drums are the not so 'unsung heroes' of this recording.

No 'best of the best' here because the performances are uniformly excellent, if not definitive. Erroll takes each song on an imaginative thrill ride, both thematically and through their chord changes, that ranks among the best ever. Highlights begin with blazing uptempo versions of "Where or When", "I'll Remember April", "Mambo Carmel", and "It's Alright With Me" with Garner imitating orchestral section work by way of splashes and flourishes with his amazing left hand, giving a seminar in "comping", pushed along by Calhoun and Best. There are beautiful ballad versions of "They Can't Take That Away From Me", "Teach Me Tonight", and "Autumn Leaves", all featuring levitating arpeggios and great dynamics. One for the ages. My Highest Recommendation. Five AMAZING Stars! (11 tracks: Time-43:32)
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VINE VOICEon 1 August 2006
If I were asked to compile a list my all-time favourite albums this would be in the top five, and it wouldn't be a short list! Recorded almost a year to the day after I was born, it is difficult to put into words what this album means to me. My Dad had an old Telefunken radiogram and a limited number of albums to play, but even though my age was still in single figures, somehow I quickly became mesmerised by the truly unique Garner style. The first copy we had was on the Philips label, but it wasn't until many years later when I bought a replacement copy on CBS (Sony) that I realised that great lumps of the original recording had been edited out, so much so that on playing the replacement copy for the first time, I thought that extra tracks had been added, only to find that these were the original off-the-wall and rambling intro's that Garner is quite rightly famed for. I don't understand how or why they work, they just do!

About ten years ago I purchased the CD, and I am pleased to say that this album is still as thrilling a listen today as it was in my very early days of listening. This great man can go from melancholy to majestic in four bars, and make goosepimples come up on my arms and the hair on the back of my neck stand up barely a moment after his fingers have touched the keyboard.

Aside from this, generally speaking I don't like live albums, but this is the exception to the rule. Forget the slightly poor recording quality, (It is fifty plus years old after all!), the background interruptions and coughing from the audience plus Garner's own grunts and humming that accompany a great deal of the recording, this is one hell of an album and one that I can truly say that I would be lost without.

The musicianship on this album is superb, the interaction between Garner, the audience and his fellow musicians magnificent and the atmosphere electric. You only have to listen to the reaction of the audience to realise that we are witnessing something very special. Lie back and enjoy a sprightly and intriguing selection of tunes from a jazz master at the very peak of his career on this truly magical album.

Very highly recommended.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 16 August 2007
Errol Garner is almost unique in Jazz history in the way that he created a new style of playing his instrument, the Piano, which made him very successful (for a Jazz artist) but hardly any other musicians have copied his style. In fact there is only one other Pianist that I know of that conciously learnt to play in the style of Errol Garner and that was Dudley Moore (and he did it very well). There are a number of reasons for this, which would take too long to explain in a short album review.

On this fabulous live album from September 1955 Garner is accompanied by Eddie Calhoun on bass and Denzil Best on Drums. As with all Garner recordings there are his inspired Piano introductions to tunes, that really give you absolutely no clue as to what is coming next, but when the tune starts it all seem entirely logical.

Garner was wholly self-taught, so how on earth he managed to play at the virtuoso standard required on say 'Red Top' or 'I'll Remember April' is truly amazing. The key to his playing is the left-hand which is squarely on the beat, and 4 to the bar on the uptempo numbers, almost like a strumming guitarist - think Freddie Green from the Basie Orchestra. His right hand lagged behind the beat, or phrased around the beat which creates the dramatic style you can hear so well on this album.

I'm less keen on his ballad playing, its a little too florid for my taste, but its still fabulous, just not as fabulous as his uptempo playing which is as exciting as almost anythingelse you can hear in the history of Jazz.
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on 27 November 2005
I orginally just gave this CD a cursory listen, not expecting anything special, however I was blown away and just had to keep on listening and listening.
Garner had an unbeliveable talent, both for his instrument, and the art of performance. He uses an endless variety of styles that he seamlessly flits between mid solo, from puncuating staccato of individual notes to full on orchestral rolling chords. He is truely a showman of the highest order as well, constantly generating interest and drama in the music, and creating a huge sense of fun.
The recording quality is a bit dodgy, but this is quickly forgotten when listening. His other major album 'Contrasts' is also excellent, though not in quite the same league as this legendary concert.
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on 23 September 2013
Erroll Garner is able through the medium of this CD to bring to life everyday songs in the jazz style. An excellent way to pass away sometime listening to great favorite tunes played by a pianist who must be ranked as one of the very top jazz musicians in the world. I found this CD an excellent choice. One that is difficult to get tired of listening to.
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on 17 March 2015
The cassette version of this was one of the first jazz recordings I ever owned, bought at the now-defunct Mole Jazz shop in King's Cross back in 1982. It was great to hear again what is the best-selling jazz piano album of all time. Erroll Garner was in great form in this live recording made in Carmel, California on 19th September 1955. There is a nice mix of slower-paced numbers such as Autumn Leaves and April Paris as well as the stunning up-tempo ones typified by the amazing rendition of Where or When which ends the concert. Garner exudes sheer joy and energy when he plays up-tempo and having seen footage of him online, it is clear that he loved to interact with his audience in a way that many musicians simply don't do. Along with Art Tatum, Erroll Garner will always be my favourite jazz pianist and this CD is a must if you love great jazz piano.
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on 10 February 2013
Sometimes you hear music that makes you gasp.Beethovens last string quartets. Garners concert by the sea.Language is inadequate to describe this kind of music. Just listen.
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