Erroll Louis Garner (1921 - 1977)
Erroll Garner was a phenomenon. Entirely self-taught, he couldn't read music and was only
three years old when he first immersed himself in the world of the piano. No matter
whether you saw him or heard him at one with the piano, the only word to describe it was
osmosis. What on earth could this phenomenon be? He could play as if totally absorbed, or
else appear to be quite absent, all the time wearing an innocent smile that made you think
he was from another world. By turns inhabited — by an irresistible swing or by some tune
so sweet it seemed drawn from the depths of unfathomable feelings — he would murmur
melodies to himself and always display the greatest happiness to be playing. Garner was the
composer of Misty (1954), and his album Concert by the Sea (1955) was an enormous
bestseller. He is still one of the most popular jazz pianists ever, with an audience way
beyond the closed circle of jazz.
The history of music shows us that different kinds and forms follow each other. And that the latest trend overshadows the one that came before it. Today it's difficult to say exactly which trend dominates, as there are so many music currents that overlap and intersect. Mainstream exists no longer. Yet one thing is certain: each music form is built on the music that precedes it. There would be no jazz without classical music, no rock without blues, no rock without jazz, no rap without soul music, no sampling without the riffs of either soul or rock… and therefore, inside each genre you find different chapters in the history of music. And that is why it is so important to understand their origins: they shed the light that is necessary for an understanding of the music born every day.
The richness of jazz lies at the origin of so much music today that it is essential to discover this creative wealth. The Essential Works of Masters of Jazz bring to light those 20th century creations that still exert an influence on the majority of musicians today — whether they are aware of it or not.
The Essential Works of Masters of Jazz gather the fundamental creations of the music of today.