Erroll Garner Showcases His 'High Wire' Act: Exclusive Premiere

Erroll Garner
Vernon L. Smith

Erroll Garner

The track is one of six unreleased original compositions from new album ‘Ready Take One’ coming Sept. 30.

In advance of the Sept. 30 release of Ready Take One—the first new album by legendary jazz pianist Erroll Garner in nearly a quarter century — fans are being treated today to the exclusive premiere of the album track “High Wire.”

Listen to “High Wire”:


Ready Take One is the second in a series of forthcoming releases from Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings and Octave Music Licensing LLC, curators of Garner’s archival recordings. The first was 2015’s reissue of the 1955 Grammy-nominated Garner classic The Complete Concert By the Sea.

“The release of ‘High Wire’ offers a dynamic example of another side of Erroll Garner,” says Steve Rosenthal, who produced Ready Take One alongside Peter Lockhart and Geri Allen. “What you leave in, what you take out has long been the mantra of the record-making world. Ready Take One is Garner in the studio let loose, experimenting, collaborating with his band and producer Martha Glaser and in the process creating timeless music.”

Sony Legacy to Release Erroll Garner Masterpiece 'The Complete Concert By the Sea'

Recorded during a two-hour evening session on Dec. 2, 1971, at RCA Studios in Manhattan, “High Wire” featured Garner, Jimmie Smith on drums, Ernest McCarty Jr. on bass and Jose Mangual on congas. The vibrant track is one of six previously unreleased original Garner compositions featured on the album, alongside the previously premiered “Wild Music,” “Back to You,” “Chase Me,” “Latin Digs” and “Down Wylie Avenue.” Rounding out the 14-track set are imaginative interpretations of various jazz and pop standards including “Sunny” and Garner’s own signature standard “Misty” — all also previously unreleased.

Ready Take One was drawn from recently discovered recording sessions conducted in Chicago, New York City and the aforementioned Manhattan in 1967, 1969 and 1971. Among Garner’s additional backing musicians: Joe Cocuzzo (drums), Ike Isaacs, George Duvivier and Larry Gales (bass). Bringing a you-are-there feel to the project is session banter between the band and Garner’s longtime manager Glaser. In fact, the album’s title was sparked by Glaser’s frequent in-studio refrain, “Ready take one.”

Available for pre-order on Amazon, here’s the Ready Take One track list:

"High Wire"
"I Want to Be Happy"
"I’m Confessin’ (That I Love You)"
"Wild Music"
"Back to You"
"Night and Day"
"Chase Me"
"Satin Doll"
"Latin Digs"
"Stella By Starlight"
"Down Wylie Avenue"


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