Red Alone

COMPOSERS: Various
LABELS: Prestige
PERFORMER: Red Garland
CATALOGUE NO: OJCD-1102-2

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Many styles of piano-playing feature in a recent batch of reissues from the Fantasy Jazz family of labels. You might know of Miles Davis sideman Red Garland’s umpteen trio dates for Prestige, but not his long-deleted solo piano album Red Alone, devoted entirely to ballads.

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Garland is at his best when deploying loping left-hand stride chords against lazy right-hand lines and trickling downward runs. Ironically, the inner swing distinguishing his two-handed block-chord playing threatens to melt into cocktail jelly without bass and drums present. But what beauty of tone and dynamic intelligence this man possessed.