Concert by the Sea

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Concert by the Sea
Live album by Erroll Garner
Released 1955
Recorded September 19, 1955
Genre Jazz
Length 41:19
Label Columbia
Producer George Avakian
Erroll Garner chronology
Concert by the Sea
The Most Happy Piano
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars[1]
The Penguin Guide to Jazz 3.5/4 stars[2]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide 5/5 stars[3]

Concert by the Sea is a 1955 live album by pianist Erroll Garner, which was recorded in Carmel, California.[1] The recording also features Eddie Calhoun on bass and Denzil Best on drums, and although it was produced using relatively primitive sound equipment, Garner's inventiveness and musical talent have ensured the album has become one of his most notable.

Recording and music[edit]

The album was recorded on September 19, 1955 in a converted church in a military base[4] near Carmel, California. The acoustics were poor and the piano somewhat out of tune. The balance of instruments on the recording is also poor: the bass and drums are receded.[5] There was no plan to record the concert officially. The release came about because Garner's personal manager, Martha Glaser, spotted backstage that a tape recorder was running. The recording was being made "by a jazz fan and scholar named Will Thornbury, strictly for the enjoyment of himself and his fellow servicemen".[4] Glaser took the tape, put it into album form and then played it for the head of Columbia Records' jazz division, George Avakian, who decided to release it.[4]

The original LP release was in mono; a stereo version was issued in 1970.[6]


AllMusic awarded the album a maximum five stars, stating that it is "arguably the finest record pianist Erroll Garner ever made".[1] The Penguin Guide to Jazz gave it 3½ stars out of 4 (and added it to the book's suggested Core Collection), asserting that "Concert by the Sea is essentially neither more nor less than a characteristic set by the trio".[2] Critic Scott Yanow's opinion is that "this is the album that made such a strong impression that Garner was considered immortal from then on."[7]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "I'll Remember April" (Gene de Paul, Patricia Johnston, Don Raye) – 4:14
  2. "Teach Me Tonight" (Sammy Cahn, de Paul) – 3:37
  3. "Mambo Carmel-by-the-sea" (Erroll Garner) – 3:43
  4. "Autumn Leaves" (Joseph Kosma, Jacques Prévert, Johnny Mercer) – 6:27
  5. "It's All Right with Me" (Cole Porter) – 3:21
  6. "Red Top" (Lionel Hampton, Ben Kynard) – 3:11
  7. "April in Paris" (Vernon Duke, Yip Harburg) – 4:47
  8. "They Can't Take That Away from Me" (George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin) – 4:08
  9. "How Could You do a Thing Like That to Me" (Tyree Glenn, Allan Roberts) – 3:59
  10. "Where or When" (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart) – 3:06
  11. "Erroll's Theme" (Garner) – 0:46




  1. ^ a b c Rusch, Bob "Concert by the Sea: review" AllMusic. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
  2. ^ a b Cook, Richard and Morton, Brian (2008) The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (9th ed.) Penguin, p. 529.
  3. ^ Swenson, J. (Editor) (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 81. ISBN 0-394-72643-X. 
  4. ^ a b c Friedwald, Will (Sep 17, 2009) Wall Street Journal, Eastern edition, p. D13.
  5. ^ Bailey, C. Michael (August 9, 2005) "Erroll Garner: Concert by the Sea" All About Jazz.
  6. ^ "Garner's great concert in stereo" (February 5, 1970) Sacramento Observer, p. 15
  7. ^ Yanow, Scott (2003) Jazz on Record: The First Sixty Years Backbeat Books, p. 407.