Erroll Garner: Frantonality
Erroll Garner (piano)
Erroll Garner Plays Misty (Mercury)
Composed by Erroll Garner.
Recorded: Hollywood, April 9, 1946
Rating: 100/100 (learn more)
Garner's style was mostly based on a chomping 4/4 in the left hand more related to rhythm guitar than James P. Johnson. However, "Frantonality" is a clear homage to Harlem stride. It's also a relatively rare example of a Garner original besides "Misty"; the fact that it is a serious stride composition in a minor key is also fairly uncommon.
Of course, the presence of a minor key doesn't stop the endless cheer of a good Garner performance. He was the kind of musician who saw no division between 'entertainment' and 'art' in jazz. Frankly, I'm not sure the way jazz rigorously defends its 'art' turf these days is so good for the music. At any rate, both Garner and Earl Hines could be seriously considered by young players today looking for unclichéd inspiration.
Reviewer: Ethan Iverson