is hardly a typical Oscar Peterson album. This time, the Canadian pianist doesn't play any standards and doesn't take a bop-oriented approach; in fact, Trail of Dreams isn't a straight-ahead jazz album but rather combines jazz with elements of pop, classical, and symphonic music. Recorded in April 2000, this CD finds Peterson joining forces with Michel Legrand, who conducts a lush 24-piece string orchestra.
Street of Dreams was designed as a project for Patti Austin to sing her favorite songs, regardless of genre. True, there are a couple of later songs here, usually including two co-written by Vaneese Thomas, but the heart of the album is in interpretations of "The Look of Love," "Street of Dreams," "Someone to Watch Over Me," "'Till There Was You," "I Only Have Eyes for You," "For Once in My Life," and "IGY (What a Beautiful World)." Although the arrangements can get a little too clean and synthesized (much of the album sounds as if it was recorded with DX-7s), Austin is in terrific form throughout, breathing life into songs that have been recorded numerous times. It's a fine latter-day effort from a fine singer.