WBGO Radar

Red Garland Trio: "Swingin' On The Korner"

pianist red garland

Piano giant Cedar Walton once told Todd Barkan, owner and artistic programmer of the San Francisco club Keystone Korner, this:

"No practitioner of the art of jazz piano swung any harder or with any more soulful lyricism than the great Red Garland. He paved the way for so many of us."

Red Garland was discovered by Hot Lips Page. The world discovered him as the red-hot pianist in the Miles Davis group of the 1950s.

Throughout his career he astonished legions of listeners with his soulful, ALWAYS blues inflections at the piano.

Swingin' On The Korner, a previously unreleased 2-disc set captured at The Keystone Korner in 1977, will undoubtedly add countless new admirers of his art.

"Love For Sale" immediately gets your attention to this trio, which features  Leroy Vinnegar on bass and Garland's bandmate in the Davis group, legendary drummer Philly Joe Jones.

At each turn, the spirit and fresh Garlands are laid upon nuggets like "I Wish I Knew," "Billy Boy," "On Green Dolphin Street," "On A Clear Day," "Autumn Leaves" and "Bags' Groove."

Red's approach to the obvious is never that. They're all his tunes for the week, to the evident delight of the bassist and drummer, whose originality of their own delighted the West Coast crowds to the hush and the hammer these three shared.

The music's all here. The stories all told in the wonderful companion booklet assembled by Zev Feldman.

It's required reading. Required listening.

The Red Garland Trio's Swingin' On The Korner comes out January 20th from Elemental Music.  A three man orchestra is something to take in.

   - Gary Walker, WBGO music director

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