(Mack Avenue Records)

Perhaps picking up on the era’s obsession with astrology, Erroll Garner titled a 1972 release Gemini, which was indeed the sign under which he was born. Jazz critic Dan Morgenstern, while voicing skepticism of the stars’ influence on human events, nonetheless makes a reasoned argument for at least a metaphorical connection to the Gemini twins: “Musically, Garner’s duality is complete,” he wrote in the liner notes. “His music combines intellect and emotion in perfect balance, moving and involving the listener on many planes, from sheer unreflecting enjoyment to total astonishment.” Garner certainly astonishes throughout this nine-track collection, which was reissued as part of the Octave Records Remastered Series, particularly so on the self-penned title track. The pianist gleefully rips into a bluesy bounce, which is made all the more buoyant by the percolating rhythm section of bassist Ernest McCarty Jr., drummer Jimmie Smith and conga player Jose Mangual.

Purchase Album:

The Authoritative Voice in Jazz