JazzTimes 10: All-Time Great Piano Trio Albums

The power of three is on full display in these groups

Erroll Garner: The Complete Concert by the Sea (Sony Legacy, 2015; recorded September 19, 1955)

When jazz albums are wildly popular—see Kind of Blue, Time Out, or My Favorite Things—there’s usually a good reason for it. Erroll Garner’s Concert by the Sea, cut live in Carmel, Calif., with bassist Eddie Calhoun and drummer Denzil Best, is another case in point. Based on pure sales figures, the album should have gone gold within three years of its release, but oddly this has never been acknowledged by the Recording Industry Association of America (anti-jazz bias?). In any case, a quick listen will immediately explain its success: This trio drives like nobody’s business. Its rambunctious interplay can be heard to best effect on the 60th-anniversary reissue, which includes the entire Carmel concert. Also recommended: Nightconcert, a recently released 1964 live recording from Amsterdam featuring Garner, Calhoun, and Kelly Martin.

Buy The Complete Concert by the Sea on Amazon!

Mac Randall

Mac Randall

Mac Randall has been the editor of JazzTimes since May 2018. Prior to that, he wrote regularly for the magazine. He has written about numerous genres of music for a wide variety of publications over the past 30 years, including Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, The New York Observer, Mojo, and Guitar Aficionado, and he has worked on the editorial staffs of Musician, LAUNCH (now Yahoo! Music), Guitar One, Teaching Music, Music Alive!, and In Tune Monthly. He is the author of two books, Exit Music: The Radiohead Story and 101 Great Playlists. He lives in New York City.