Christian Sands' Guide To NIGHTCONCERT - Part Four
Creative ambassador and co-producer of the Nightconcert record, pianist Christian Sands leads listeners on a song-by-song journey through side D of Erroll Garner's midnight recording at Amsterdam's Concertgebouw.
The introduction subtly reminds me of Cecil Taylor, the free jazz pioneer. Garner begins with some interesting clustered chord choices into his two-handed patterns, adding heavy sostenuto pedal work. Then he blissfully dissolves into the tune and tells the tragic story of Laura Hunt. (The song describes the title character from the 1944 film noir, “Laura.”)
©1945 [m] David Raksin, [w] Johnny Mercer |EMI Robbins Catalog Inc. (ASCAP)
13 WHEN YOUR LOVER HAS GONE
Going back to his stride roots, EG gets gritty on this tune. There are moments when he channels his early influences (and two of my favorite pianists) James P. Johnson and Fats Waller. With laughter towards the end, he’s clearly having a great time behind his instrument.
©1931 [w+m] Einar Aaron Swan |Warner Bros Music (ASCAP)
14 NO MORE SHADOWS
EG’s approach to this song is more classical. With virtuosity, he plays this sweet version in an almost Chopinic way, with arpeggios and flurries from both hands.
©1963 [m] Erroll Garner, [w] Edward Heyman
Octave Music Publ Corp./Downtown DLJ Songs (ASCAP)
15 ’S WONDERFUL
I like this rendition of ’S Wonderful because the trio is rocking. With each plucked note and cymbal played, Calhoun and Martin fuel the fire, creating the perfect foundation for Garner. He’s free to literally hit his stride—there are moments when we can hear the big band influence on him: Count Basie, and again the stride master Fats Waller.
©1927 [m] George Gershwin, [w] Ira Gershwin
WB Music Corp.; Ira Gershwin Music/WB Music Corp. (ASCAP)
16 THANKS FOR THE MEMORY
The trio rounds out this concert in pure Pittsburgh EG style, with a short swinger that has everyone rocking in their seats. From the classic Bob Hope movie, “Thanks for the Memory,” Garner and his musical brethren say thank you and goodbye...for now.
©1938 [m] Ralph Rainger, [w] Leo Robin |Sony/ATV Harmony (ASCAP)
Check out the rest of this series.