Erroll Garner

Erroll Louis Garner ( born June 15, 1921 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, † January 2, 1977 in Los Angeles, California ) was a pianist and composer of the genre mainstream and modern jazz, considered one of the style- pianist the number of Jelly Roll Morton to Fats Waller and Art Tatum continued. Particularly well known he was by his composition Misty (1954).


At the age of three years, Garner began to learn piano by nachspielte music from vinyl. With seven years he had first appearances and was a member of the Kan -D -Kids (Candy Kids) in the radio station KDKA to hear. Later he started around Pittsburgh, including on riverboats on the Allegheny River from occurring, where he stepped in for pianists like Fate Marable, but he stood in the shadow of his older brother Linton. He was a classmate of Dodo Marmarosa and learned during his training at the Westinghouse High School Billy Strayhorn know. In 1937, he began to act professionally; 1938-41 he played in the orchestra of the saxophonist Leroy Brown. As a soloist he played at local bars as the Mercurs, in silent movie theaters and on Sundays as a church musician.

In 1944 he moved to New York City, where he played in the jazz clubs of the 52nd Street including the Three Deuces and the Tondelayo 's and where soon first recordings of the pianist in the apartment by Timme Rosenkrantz were taken, which were later released on Blue Note. He played until 1945 - as the successor to Art Tatum - in trio and in quartet of Slam Stewart and took a few 78s for Black & White Records. In the same year he founded his own piano trio, and he managed a hit with Laura. 1947, when he formed a trio in Los Angeles with Red Callender and Doc West, he accompanied Charlie Parker on the Cool Blues session (Dial Sessions ). In May 1948, he performed with his trio at the Paris Théâtre Marigny.

In 1950, he appeared as one of the first jazz pianists in a concert hall as a soloist - in the " Music Hall " in Cleveland. In 1952, he was with Art Tatum, Meade Lux Lewis and Pete Johnson member of the Piano parade that toured the United States. In the 1950s, then appeared a number of solo albums Garner, including Long Ago ( and Far Away ) 1951 and for Columbia Concert by the Sea 1955 with bassist Eddie Calhoun and drummer Denzil Best, the recorded in Carmel, California was a million have been sold and its popularity increased immensely. In 1954 he founded his own record label Octave Records, for which he sometimes took up to 1973. He also participated in records of Benny Carter, Don Byas, Coleman Hawkins, Wardell Gray, Lucky Thompson, Teddy Edwards, Howard McGhee, Charlie Shavers, Vic Dickenson, and with the orchestras of Boyd Raeburn Georgie Auld and.

In 1957 he made ​​his debut with the Cleveland Orchestra; during the 1950s and 60s he was also a frequent guest on television shows, including on Ed Sullivan, Steve Allen, Jackie Gleason, Merv Griffin and Perry Como. In the late 1960s he was the star guest at the International Television Festival in Montreux, for which he also composed the theme song. In the early 1970s he went on tour through South America and the Far East; In 1973/74 he appeared at gala events on the French Riviera.

Until the 1970s Garner continued to play a recording discs; In 1974, the album Magician. 1974/75 he had appearances with symphony orchestras in Washington DC and Honolulu. In 1975, Garner retired from the music industry as a result of pneumonia, from which he never recovered and he died two years later.

His music

Erroll Garner came to view by Martin Kunzler of the Fats Waller / Count Basie - school and united in his game elements of stride piano and bebop with romantic and baroque moments. ". Mighty chords alternate with fine melodic lines " Garner himself said to his orchestral style:

Garner had a fine ear and had an amazing technique, both fast swinging tunes as well as his ballads, for which he was particularly famous ( Misty ). Garner used to play with his left hand like clockwork regular quarter, while his right in breakneck sparkling runs and arpeggios introduced the melody and then broken down into improvisations. The melody he improvised practically detached from the meter, which by the independent play of left and right hand was possible. He had not only trained in jazz, but also on the virtuoso piano music of Sergei Rachmaninov, Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Frédéric Chopin and Franz Liszt, although he could read as an autodidact no notes his technique.

A distinctive mark Garners were his sprawling landscaped discharges which together lined up numerous, often humorous allusions and quotations from various pieces. For several minutes he improvised initially at breakneck virtuosity, before he took to the delight of the audience to the actual piece.


  • Garner has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame ( 1960). Garner was also very popular, jazz circles out, and often appeared in TV shows.
  • He plays Misty in Clint Eastwood's debut film as a director Play Misty for me of 1971.

Disco Graphical Notes

  • Savoy Sessions ( Savoy, 1945) with John Levy, Alvin Stoller
  • Erroll Garner 1944-1945 ( Classics ) with Charlie Shavers, Vic Dickenson, Slam Stewart, Harold Doc West
  • Long Ago and Far Away ( Columbia, 1951) with John Simmons, Shadow Wilson
  • Body and Soul (Columbia 1951/2 ) ditto
  • Mambo Moves Garner ( Mercury, 1954)
  • Erroll Garner Collection Volumes 4 & 5: Solo Time! ( Emarcy, 1954)
  • Solitaire ( Mercury, 1955) solo
  • Misty ( Mercury, 1954 - new as The original Misty )
  • Concert by the Sea (Columbia, 1955 - Live in Carmel, California ) with Eddie Calhoun, Denzil Best
  • Erroll Garner Collection Vol 1 - Easy to Love ( Emarcy, 1961-65 ) with Eddie Calhoun, Kelly Martin