Erroll Garner’s centennial celebrated with trio of retrospective releases

Erroll Garner was one of the most popular jazz musicians of his time, widely respected for his swinging style, distinctive, virtuosic playing and well-known compositions such as the ballad Misty.

Now, the pianist and composer is at the centre of celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of his birth on June 15, 2021.

In the last few years, Garner’s legacy has been reinvigorated by the efforts of Octave Music’s Erroll Garner Project, including an expanded re-release of his milestone album Concert by the Sea.

This year, the Erroll Garner Project has partnered with Mack Avenue to celebrate the jazz giant’s centennial with a trio of special releases focused on his output from 1959 to 1975.

Those new sets are Liberation in Swing: Centennial Collection, a deluxe, limited-edition boxed set; Liberation in Swing: The Octave Records Story & Complete Symphony Hall Concert, a standard-edition boxed set; and the standalone Symphony Hall Concert, a previously unreleased live album featuring 27 songs recorded at Boston’s Symphony Hall.

Both boxed set configurations include liner notes by historian Dr. Robin D. G. Kelley, as well as essays by contemporary musicians Terri Lyne Carrington and CĂ©cile McLorin Salvant.

The new collections were compiled with cooperation from the University of Pittsburgh, where Garner’s physical archives have been housed by Octave Music since 2015.

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