- Beyond the Reef
- When Sunny Gets Blue
- Tender Is the Night
- The Very Thought of You
- Yellow Bird
- Angel Eyes
- Mood Indigo
- The Second Time Around
- Make Someone Happy
- Swingin' Gently
- Londonderry Air
- Climb Ev'ry Mountain
This strictly instrumental album is perhaps the most exciting of all the eight albums Earl Grant has recorded on Decca. In this set, the ex-school teacher turned nightclub star exhibits his tender, compassionate touch in handling ballads along with a driving, semi-jazz feeling on uptempo numbers. There is a bluesy mood apparent in the fine choice of tunes selected for the album which are all arranged by Earl himself. He is aided and abetted by the gifted work of Plas Johnson on tenor saxophone and flute, Al Hendrickson and Bobby Gibbons on guitar, Morty Corb bass, and Jack Sperling drums.
"Beyond the Reef" - The title tune features Earl's long, dramatic phrases. The various bird calls are also Earl's, allowing his music to wander into a Martin Denny groove for just a moment. Plas Johnson is heard on flute to enhance the Hawaiian mood.
"When Sunny Gets Blue" - The bluesy feeling associated with this number is brought out completely by Earl's poignant treatment. Notice the way Al Hendrickson floats in to accompany and then works behind Earl. The organ sound Earl achieves closely resembles that of a piano. at the bridge of the arrangement he switches over to piano. Jack Sperling provides some tasty drumming as Earl changes to double time near the end of the number.
"Tender Is the Night" - This number is featured in the film of the same name, in which Earl appears as a nightclub piano player. Earl underlines the theme with his dynamic phrasing and also reveals his excellence in handling a concerto type composition.
"The Very Thought of You" - Earl Superbly paints the beautiful colors so much a part of Ray Noble's immortal ballad. The interplay between Plas Johnson on tenor and Earl is an example of great musicianship. Once again, Jack Sperling's drumming helps emphasize the haunting theme of a ballad. Toward the end of the arrangement, Earl switches to piano.
"Yellow Bird" - The number is arranged as a calypso, but also has a jazz undercurrent to it. Plas Johnson's gently swinging tenor is heard above Bobby Gibbon's guitar. Though the tune is played at a slow ballad tempo, it still swings.
"Make Someone Happy" - This favorite from the score of the Broadway production "Do Re Mi" features an unusual concerto-type arrangement. As in "Tender Is the Night" and "Climb Ev'ry Mountain", Earl displays the form of a concerto pianist. Morty Corb's bass provides the only accompaniment.
"Swingin' Gently" - Earl's own composition has a light jubilee flavor and exemplifies happy-go-lucky swinging at its finest. The tune itself is a complete departure from the other songs in the album. Earl tears away with heavy chords and then slows down with easy ones, yet still retains the boisterous flavor of the tune. The hard sound is provided by the way Earl makes use of Morty Corb's bass line along with his own accent on the bass pedal of the organ.
"Londonderry Air" (Danny Boy) - This rendition of the traditional Irish air is devoid of any blues feeling, naturally. Jack Sperling's softly ricocheting cymbals help build a climax to Earl's improvisations.
"Climb Ev'ry Mountain" - An extremely tasteful interpretation on both piano and organ of one of the hits from Rodgers and Hammerstein's "The Sound of Music".
The above, with addition of Angel Eyes, Mood Indigo and Second Time Around, represent a group of beautiful musical sounds, produced by the master, Earl Grant, guaranteed to soothe and delight you, whether you are a connoisseur, audiophile, or just Earl Grant fan, or just a music lover.
(Peter J. Leinson, from the original liner notes)