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REVIEW   DownBeat  /  January 23, 1958

Red Garland

Prestige 7133


Rudy Van Gelder Remasters

The three Red Garland LPs so far issued and his work on the various other Miles Davis and Sonny Rollins albums, may very well establish Garland as one of the major influences on jazz piano playing.

In case that seems over-enthusiastic, I hasten to point out that now that Miles has made melody fashionable again, Garland is beginning to be listened to, and I have already found traces of his uniquely personal style here and there in piano solos this year.

Garland’s solo on Please Send Me Someone to Love, in his second Prestige LP, has already become a classic, and I firmly believe will go echoing down the ages, quoted and requited in other pianists’ solos like Avery Parrish’s After Hours has been.

Garland has (in conjunction with Paul Chambers who plays Damon to his Pythias on all the Garland LPs) built up an unusual personal pulse rivaled only by Garner among piano players. Whatever Red does, particularly in the slow tempos in which he plays blues and ballads, rolls along with the rhythmic wave Base describes. The propulsion on the listener is almost impossible to resist.

Over this uniquely compelling rhythm, Garland has constructed a blend of locked chord and single note solo line style that retains all the essential warmth of melody and remains inventive, while always having that great swinging feeling which is best described by the title of this LP, Groovy.

I am particularly impressed by Garland’s blues and slow ballad playing for its intrinsic melodic nature. On this LP he revives an old beauty from the days of Wini Brown and Lionel Hampton, Gone Again, as well as What Can I Say, Dear?, which is, if memory serves, the only tune Eddie Condon eve did a vocal on.

More and more young pianists are listening to Garland. I hope they continue. He has brought back some long absent elements to jazz piano, made them acceptable to the ultra-modernists, and proven over again the sublime virtue of swing and a solid, deep groove. I have found him utterly relaxing—somewhat as Garner is. I can play the Garland LPs over and over just as Miles and Dizzy and Basie can be played over and over. That is, really, the ultimate in compliments today when there are so many LPs, technically well done, that you just never do get around to playing again. —Ralph J. Gleason

Groovy: C-Jam Blues; Willow Weep for Me; Gone Again; What Can I Say Dear?; Will You Still Be Mine?; Hey Now.
Personnel: Red Garland, piano; Paul Chambers, bass; Arthur Taylor, drums.



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