Marc Myers writes at The Wall Street Journal:
To commemorate the recording’s 60th anniversary, Sony is releasing the “Complete Concert by the Sea” on Sept. 18, with a new cover that features a black model, her arms raised in the pose of the white model on the original cover. The three-CD set includes the original album plus the complete concert, remastered with 11 previously unreleased tracks, stage announcements by jazz critic and emcee Jimmy Lyons, and a post-concert interview with the Erroll Garner Trio by Thornbury.
For decades, jazz critics have hailed the original album as a masterpiece, with Garner delivering a commanding live performance that artfully alternates between puckish joy and majestic interpretation. Accompanied by bassist Eddie Calhoun and drummer Denzil Best, Garner reinvents familiar ballads and swinging standards with unprecedented happiness and grace. Now, for the first time, listeners can experience the historic hour-and-40-minute concert just as the audience did—from start to finish.
The sizable trove of newly issued concert material—including “Night and Day,” “I Cover the Waterfront,” “Sweet and Lovely” and “Lullaby of Birdland”—burnishes the album’s reputation, shedding fresh light on Garner’s musical ingenuity and bolstering his legacy as an entertainer with few peers. Garner, who was self-taught and couldn’t read a note of music, likely chose the songs he performed as the spirit moved him.
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