Erroll Garner, The Complete Concert By The Sea (Columbia)
Garner’s heroic 1955 concert will be released this week in its entirety for the first time. Half of it appeared on an 11-track LP that was a landmark in the pianist’s history of joyful music making and sold more than half a million copies. After his death in 1977, the rest of the performance remained hostage to a dispute between Columbia Records and his manager, Martha Glaser, who died in 2014. The 11 previously unreleased performances include a “Laura” whose introduction evokes the enigma of its movie namesake; an ingenious extended diminuendo ending to “Night And Day;” one of Garner’s classic keep-‘em-guessing introductions to what turns out to be “Caravan;” and a blazing “Bernie’s Tune.” Throughout, Garner is at the peak of his formidable game. Bassist Eddie Calhoun and drummer Denzil Best are impeccable in support. This is a basic repertoire item.