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The 11th album of the Octave Remastered Series is here — a collection of music that is among the most important in the history of jazz.
Magician is the 11th in the reissue series of a dozen Octave albums that began last year, and it’s a total delight. Seemingly fluent in any style, Garner ranges from originals like the gorgeous “Nightwind” and the gospel-flecked “One Good Turn” to gems such as “Someone to Watch Over Me” and the Carpenters smash “(They Long to Be) Close to You,” transforming the saccharine Bacharach-David tune into a rowdy expression of joy. If Garner sometimes seems too extravagant in his approach, possessed by the urge to play too many notes, his obvious exuberance renders any reservations moot. Just listen to his romping take on “I Only Have Eyes for You” and try not to smile. It can’t be done.