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Erroll Garner

Erroll Garner wrote "Misty" in 1954 and immediately recorded it with his Erroll Garner Trio. The composition was certainly his most popular and easily among his most critically well received. Johnny Mathis recorded a song version of the music in 1959 using lyrics by Johnny Burke. That effort also reached the charts and generated much interest in the work among singers. "Misty" became a classic not just because of its distinctive, catchy melody, but because of Garner's deft handling of it within his unique style. His works often exhibit a symphonic sort of jazz quality, and his melodies are typically played in octaves. The familiar "Misty" tune opens this way, but in arpeggiated hops in the upper register of the piano, giving the melody a lighthearted sense. There is at once a melancholy and carefree feeling here and also, with the slow tempo and bluesy harmonies, a lazy air and intimate, nocturnal sense. Garner played different versions of "Misty," and there have been different arrangements of the song rendition, as well. Thus, listeners may encounter the piece in several guises, but most versions will offer a good measure of appeal.