Erroll Garner was and still is considered one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time. He was called by one jazz critic, a “brilliant virtuoso” and “one of the most distinctive of all pianists.”
Another writer said of Garner: “playing the piano for him was as easy as breathing is for you and me.”
His numerous recordings, compostions and performances remain classics, and are held up as standards to which other musicians judge themseves by.
However, there was one major surprising factor about Garner that made him even more amazing.
A music prodigy from the age of three, what is truly unique about Garner is that he was completely self-taught, and he was, through his entire life, an “ear” player. That is, he never learned to write a single note of music.
And because of his short stature (he was only 5′ 2″), he would sit on the bench on top of telephone directories, to better position himself at the keyboard.
Now a documentary by filmmaker Atticus Brady about the life, career and music of Garner (who passed away in 1977), called Erroll Garner: No One Can Hear You read, will be released on DVD from First Run Features on April 9th.
Here’s the trailer, which includes Garner performing a selection: