Erroll Garner | A Night At The Movies | 05 of 12

This newly restored classic Garner album contains music from some of the last studio sessions of Garner's longest-running trio, with Eddie Calhoun (bass) and Kelly Martin (drums). After nearly a decade of touring and recording together, they function here as an uncanny musical unit, deftly navigating Garner's twists and turns. Here are a dozen of his favorite deep cuts from the movies he loved as well as the previously unreleased "You and Me”.

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A NIGHT AT THE MOVIES with Erroll Garner is a rare musical excursion. For Garner is no ordinary guide. One of the most original and individual voices in contemporary music, Garner improvises here on 12 immortal songs from the films, reflecting his impressions of the stars and their times.

In his approach, Garner steers away from the oft-recorded songs from film musicals, film title songs, and themes. Instead, he seeks to dig a little deeper into the essence of films and their personalities, in terms of music which often was background to the drama, or used to complement the dramatic action.

Garner's recording sessions are noted for their spontaneity and entirely ad lib quality. He is completely free as he improvises all of the material in actual performance.These record dates took on an almost game-like quality, as Garner and his accompanists tried to tally a tune with the film it marked, with the star it symbolized, with the year, etc.


The sessions became exhilarating as they acted out scenes from films, raucously humming, singing, or whistling a suggested tune from a film, each of them drawing on his differing impressions of the stars, films, the year. The idea here is infectious. Try it. See whether you can match the song and the film and the star and the year. See how much you can remember the period the film portrays.

Clearly, Garner has a very special “feel” for the movies. He grew up with them, sometimes playing piano in the pit of movie houses as a young boy, sometimes playing organ for the bouncing ball for movie-house community sings. By the time he was seven, he was appearing on the Saturday matinee vaudeville sessions at a major movie house in Pittsburgh, with Dick Powell as singing emcee of the programs. In more recent years, Garner also has written music for the films.

The immediacy of his portrayals, coupled with Garner's instinctive feeling for turning everything he sees, hears and thinks into unique musical terms, makes this album a compelling listening experience.

The self-taught Garner has been a dominant musical voice for over two decades. He has received major awards throughout the world for his work as a pianist and as a composer (MISTY and many others).

Garner's virile vitality is more than ever evident in this album. He obviously delights in playing. He swings in every mood and in every tempo, with his own built-in unparalleled time sense. The spirited atmosphere of these recording sessions, their complete freedom, is reflected in the energy and feeling of this album, with each selection a brilliant vignette.

Pianist-composer Garner in an entertaining and penetrating series of portrayals of great stars and their memorable film moments.