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Erroll Garner Biography

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Erroll Louis Garner (June 15, 1921 – January 2, 1977) was a jazz pianist and composer whose distinctive and melodic style brought him both popular acclaim and the admiration of peers.

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA in 1921, Erroll began playing piano at the age of 3. He played locally in the shadow of his older pianist brother Linton Garner and moved to New York in 1944. He briefly worked with the bassist Slam Stewart, and though not a bebop musician per se, in 1947 played with Charlie Parker on the famous Cool Blues session.

Garner's ear and technique owed as much to practice as to a natural gift. His distinctive style could swing like no other, but some of his best recordings are ballads, such as his best-known composition, Misty.

Erroll Garner is generally credited for having bridged the gap for jazz musicians between night clubs and the concert hall. The Dave Brubeck Quartet also bridged the gap between night clubs and concert halls in the 50's with numerous appearances on college campuses.

His 1955 recording, Concert by the Sea, ranks among his very best work and has Eddie Calhoun on bass and Denzil Best on drums. Other notable works include 1951's Long Ago and Far Away and 1974's Magician, both of which see Erroll perform a number of classic standards in his own style.
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