Erroll GarnerSymphony Hall ConcertMack Avenue/Octave Music

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OCTAVE MUSIC & MACK AVENUE MUSIC GROUP CELEBRATE ERROLL GARNER’S CENTENNIAL YEAR WITH NEVER BEFORE RELEASED MUSIC & ORIGINAL GARNER ARTWORK WITH DEFINITIVE NARRATION OF HIS CAREER PENNED BY NOTED HISTORIAN AND ARTISTS

Both boxed set configurations include the definitive narrative of Garner’s career penned by noted historian Dr. Robin D. G. Kelley, as well as essays from Terri Lyne Carrington and Cécile McLorin Salvant.

Looking back in order to look forward is fundamental to most art forms, maybe none more so than the profound art of jazz. In rare cases, such retrospection can reveal entirely new aspects of the art and its creator, redefining a legacy for a new generation. Such is the case with the genius of Erroll Garner. One of the most popular figures in jazz during his exceptional career, Garner’s legacy is receiving a remarkable reinvigoration through the concerted efforts of Octave Music’s Erroll Garner Project (EGP) and its partnership with Mack Avenue Music Group. Together they are celebrating the 100th anniversary of Garner’s birth with an extraordinary three-tiered release focused on Garner’s output from 1959 to 1975 and featuring a stunning 27-song previously unreleased 1959 concert recorded at Boston’s Symphony Hall. 

For Garner’s centennial celebration, the EGP has, with cooperation from the University of Pittsburgh (where Garner’s physical archives were housed by Octave Music in 2015) and in partnership with Mack Avenue Music Group, created a trio of exciting new releases – 

Liberation in Swing: Centennial Collection (Deluxe Limited Edition Boxed Set), 

Liberation in Swing: The Octave Records Story & Complete Symphony Hall Concert (Standard Edition Boxed Set) and Symphony Hall Concert (Single 180-gram LP, CD and digital configurations), due out September 17. Both boxed set configurations include the definitive narrative of Garner’s career penned by noted historian Dr. Robin D. G. Kelley, as well as essays from Terri Lyne Carrington and Cécile McLorin Salvant.  

The contents for each configuration are as follows:

Liberation In Swing:
Centennial Collection (Deluxe Limited Edition Boxed Set)

Includes:

  • 3-LP 180-gram black vinyl, Complete Symphony Hall Concert (previously unreleased live performance from Boston’s Symphony Hall, recorded January 17, 1959)
  • 1-LP 180-gram white vinyl, SESSIONS (new compilation of Garner originals from the Octave Remastered Series, first time on vinyl)
  • The complete 12 CD Octave Remastered Series, redesigned in custom tri-fold folio
  • Hi-Res 192kHz / 24bit digital master quality audio of the complete 12 album Octave Remastered Series (digital download)
  • Vintage 1967 Promotional Box from Erroll Garner’s private archive, featuring five 7-inch 45rpm singles
  • 1 Cassette, The Final Concert Cassette (Garner’s last performance recorded at Mister Kelly’s in Chicago, 1975)
  • Hardcover cloth-wrapped 60-page book with essays from Dr. Robin D. G. Kelley (“Octave Records & The Liberation of Erroll Garner”), Terri Lyne Carrington (“Complete Symphony Hall Concert”) and Cécile McLorin Salvant (“Garner, The Visual Artist”), as well as unpublished original artwork from Erroll Garner and previously unseen photos
  • Certificate of Authenticity

** all music newly transferred via the Plangent Processes from the original analog master tapes

Liberation In Swing:
The Octave Records Story & Complete Symphony Hall Concert
(Standard Edition Boxed Set)

Includes:

  • 3-LP 180-gram black vinyl Complete Symphony Hall Concert (previously unreleased live performance from Boston’s Symphony Hall recorded January 17, 1959)
  • 1-LP 180-gram white vinyl, SESSIONS (new compilation of Garner originals from the Octave Remastered Series, first time on vinyl)
  • 3 Essays from Dr. Robin D. G. Kelley (“Octave Records & The Liberation of Erroll Garner”), Terri Lyne Carrington (“Complete Symphony Hall Concert”) and Cécile McLorin Salvant (“Garner, The Visual Artist”)
  • 6 previously unpublished works of original visual art by Erroll Garner and dozens of previously unseen historic photographs from the Erroll Garner Archive
  • Hi-Res 192kHz / 24bit digital master quality audio of the complete 12 album Octave Remastered Series (digital download)
  • Housed in hardcover cloth-wrapped 60-page portfolio-style book with tipped-in vinyl sleeves

** all music newly transferred via the Plangent Processes from the original analog master tapes

Symphony Hall Concert (Single LP/CD/digital)

  • Previously unreleased 9-song compilation recorded live at Boston’s Symphony Hall in 1959
  • Concert originally presented by famed promoter George Wein
  • Exclusive cover based on poster from Erroll Garner archive 

** all music newly transferred via the Plangent Processes from the original analog master tapes

In Dr. Kelley’s words “Together, the various elements in Liberation in Swing mark the zenith of Garner’s career and provide more than ample proof of his preeminent place in music history. The Octave Records story is one that remains relevant today. It is the real story of Erroll Garner and [his manager/business partner] Martha Glaser, and their quest for artistic freedom, a story of dreams and disappointments, triumphs and tribulations, invention and imagination.”

This represents the culmination of the initial phase of the Garner legacy statement by providing access to much of the work that has been done so far. But it also marks the launch of the next phase, with the inclusion of never-before-heard gems of Garner creation, while also offering new viewpoints of his artistic vision that demand entirely new levels of consideration of the man and his wide-ranging talents as a creator. These releases reveal Garner as an accomplished visual artist, with his one-of-a-kind pieces showcased for the first time as the cover of the boxed set and within the pages of the spectacularly crafted 60-page hardbound book, as well as the inspiration behind the beautiful graphic design of the packaging.

The one constant in all three versions is the glorious music of Erroll Garner, captured in his live performance from Boston’s Symphony Hall. As Terri Lyne Carrington – the newly appointed Senior Advisor to the Erroll Garner Project – states, “Erroll’s most adventurous playing was generally captured in the live setting.” Accompanied by the bass and drum tandem of Eddie Calhoun and Kelly Martin – who both, while recognizing that while Garner is the heart of the music, flawlessly provide the ideal spirit and focus that frames his genius – Garner delivers his impeccable majesty on a repertoire of Songbook classics and a selection of originals, including stellar versions of his classics “Misty” and “Dreamy,” and the rarely recorded “Moments Delight.” The recording is further enhanced by the use of the Plangent Processes playback system for analog tape, a groundbreaking sound restoration tool that was used on every new piece of music included in the various configurations. Plangent removes the wow and flutter and FM/IM distortion from the recorded audio, bringing listeners the truest listening experience possible.

Through this music and how it displays not only the singular inventiveness and ingeniousness of the pianist, but also the innovative and futuristic aspects that have been generally overlooked amidst Garner’s enormous popularity, we can clearly recognize the aforementioned new revelations about Garner’s profound impact on contemporary music. As both Carrington and Dr. Kelley state in their essays, there is so much about Garner’s approach to rhythm and sound that foretells the evolution of Black American music throughout generations to come. In addition, the steadfast insistence on artistic and business independence that Garner and Glaser pioneered with the founding of Octave Records set the tone of artist self-empowerment that is still at play in today’s music world. Their business relationship was an ideal that every artist/manager relationship can aspire to possess. That spirit of independence and empowerment forged by Garner and Glaser has continued through the efforts of Octave Music’s Erroll Garner Project, a collective of producers, artists and collaborators dedicated to reinvigorating Garner’s legacy. Since its founding in 2015, the EGP has released 15 albums of Garner’s music and introduced his genius to a new generation of listeners.

This celebration of what has been accomplished to this point culminates in this stunning landmark releasehonoring Garner’s centennial. But, as this outstanding concert recording so vividly demonstrates, there is so much more to come.

Erroll Garner • Liberation in Swing: Centennial Collection, Liberation in Swing: The Octave Records Story & Complete Symphony Hall Concert and Symphony Hall Concert

Octave Music/Mack Avenue Records • Release Date: September 17, 2021

For more information on Erroll Garner, please visit: ErrollGarner.com