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Pianist Erroll Garner Lights Up Late Night In Amsterdam

Erroll Garner CD cover

The immense popularity of pianist Erroll Garner was certified in 2015 with the issuing of The Complete Concert By The Sea — 60 years after Garner made the original 1955 recording. It was the best-selling jazz album of its era! So one can imagine the excitement of new, previously unheard material, this time taken from a 1964 midnight concert at The Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.

Nightconcert features Garner, bassist Eddie Calhoun, who was with him at the Concert By The Sea, and drummer Kelly Martin, then almost a decade-long band member himself.

In true Garner fashion, the Saturday night opener, “Where Or When,” quotes “Down By The Riverside,” just to let folks know they’re now digging an early-Sunday-morning set. Noted pianist Christian Sands gives a tune-by-tune description in the liner notes, such as with “On Green Dolphin Street,” observing: “A reading with an upbeat and exciting presence, and a bounce that won’t quit. Moving through keys, and a variety of rhythms, this arrangement showcases the full musical force of Garner and his like-minded counterparts.”

When you’re finished listening to Erroll Garner, Eddie Calhoun and Kelly Martin give their performance, you too might be tempted to stand and applaud. I just hope you’re not driving.