Monterey Jazz Fest: Remembering a watershed concert (via Mercury News)

The Monterey Jazz Festival didn’t appear out of nowhere in 1958. Several years before Jimmy Lyons launched the world’s longest continuously running jazz festival with writer Ralph Gleason, he started presenting concerts around the area.

And he immediately produced a classic.

On Sept. 19, 1955, Lyons brought pianist Erroll Garner and his trio to Carmel’s Sunset Auditorium for a concert that was captured by a recording engineer for Armed Forces Radio. Quickly released by Columbia as “Concert by the Sea,” the album was a huge hit, establishing Garner as one of the most popular pianists in jazz.

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