Bop wasn't supposed to be as accessible as the popular big-band jazz that preceded it, but it's albums like this that give the lie to such generalizations. Serenade to Laura contains some of the most inventive and yet beguiling jazz piano ever recorded, and has been seducing listeners for 60 years and counting. Erroll Garner cut the original 14 sides on this LP across almost four years, in trio sessions on both coasts, backed initially by John Levy on bass and George DeHart on drums; and later by John Simmons on bass and Alvin Stoller on drums.
Erroll Louis Garner (1923-1977) was an American jazz pianist and composer known for his swing playing and ballads. His best-known composition, the ballad "Misty", has become a jazz standard. Scott Yanow of Allmusic calls him "one of the most distinctive of all pianists" and a "brilliant virtuoso".
Iconic Jazz artist Erroll Garner's greatest concert album and one of the best selling jazz albums of all time, The Complete Concert By The Sea celebrates the 60th Anniversary of the original concert from September 19, 1955. The complete live concert recording newly uncovered by the Erroll Garner Jazz Project and digitally remastered in its entirety after six decades is produced by Guggenheim Award-winning jazz pianist and Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Pittsburgh Geri Allen and 4-time GRAMMY Award-winning producer Steve Rosenthal. The 3-CD box set contains the complete live Concert By The Sea including 11 previously unreleased tracks, the original edited Columbia release from 1956 and bonus material including announcer Jimmy Lyons and interviews with the Erroll Garner trio: Denzil DaCosta Best, Eddie Calhoun, and Garner himself, recorded directly after the concert.
One of the most distinctive of all pianists, Erroll Garner proved that it was possible to be a sophisticated player without knowing how to read music, that a creative jazz musician can be very popular without watering down his music, and that it is possible to remain an enthusiastic player without changing one's style once it is formed. A brilliant virtuoso who sounded unlike anyone else, on medium tempo pieces, Erroll Garner often stated the beat with his left hand like a rhythm guitar while his right played chords slightly behind the beat, creating a memorable effect.