This double album matches and mixes together four masterful musicians: pianist Oscar Peterson, guitarist Joe Pass, bassist Niels Pedersen and harmonica great Toots Thielemans. Together they perform O.P.'s "City Lights" and ten veteran standards with creativity, wit and solid swing. There are a few miraculous moments as one would expect from musicians of this caliber and the results are generally quite memorable.
Oscar Peterson is quite simply one of the greatest jazz piano players of all time. This rare and stunning solo concert from 1975 gives a chance to see Peterson up close in an intimate setting and appreciate just how good he really is. The show includes swinging performances of Indiana, At Long Last Love, Mirage and a medley led by the Ellington classic Take The A Train.
This 18-track selection of Oscar Peterson's work was assembled to coincide with the great pianist's autobiography. Centering on his most creative period, from 1950-1970, this compilation focuses intently on the years Peterson spent playing with Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz, Billie Holiday, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Roy Eldridge, Sweets Edison, and Max Roach, as well as establishing himself as a bandleader and soloist. Tracks such as "My Romance," "Get Happy," "Blue Moon," and "Pennies from Heaven'' are standards in Peterson's repertoire and showcase his sprightly, often dizzying right-hand machinations and his complex, often frighteningly difficult conception of harmonic architecture…
Oscar Peterson's spotless, fiery technique can fool you. He's also a jazz pianist with a sensitive side. And on this disc, Telarc gathers some of his best ballad cuts and reveals just how versatile Peterson can be. In his hands, these original tunes are infused with grace, warmth, and just a hint of swing, and they're all worth hearing. "Harcourt Nights" gets a lush orchestral backing thanks to the Michel Legrand Strings. "If You Only Knew" features Peterson and Benny Green together, weaving long, lyrical piano lines, and "Nighttime" features the pianist at his most soft-hued. As usual, Peterson's lightening-fast fingers are astounding, as is his accompaniment (especially tracks featuring Roy Hargrove and Herb Ellis). All of these recordings have been previously released, but it's nice to have so many soulful and gorgeous ballads on one CD. A rare glimpse at Peterson's lesser-heard playing style.
This is one of the best post-stroke Oscar Peterson sessions in the catalog, thanks in great part to the distinguished company he keeps (Ray Brown and Milt Jackson) and the stimulating atmosphere of the live setting (New York's Blue Note club). Right from the first track, "Ja-Da," you can tell that this is going to be a fun session, as the slippery, swinging, totally interlocked, totally assured way in which these vets react to each other kicks in immediately. Peterson's right hand is fleet, feathery in touch, and bluesy in feel; the left providing just enough punctuation, and at 75, Jackson's bluesy eloquence had not diminished in the least. Ray Brown's time and placement of notes is, as usual, impeccable, and the very talented drummer in his group at the time, Karriem Riggins, provides a swinging kick for the quartet…
The unifying element of The Composer refers to the fact that Peterson has written all nine compositions, and attempts to give him credit for his writing skills. These pieces have been taken from several albums, recorded between 1974 and 1986, and performed both live and in the studio. Placing Peterson in a big-band setting will perhaps seem odd to those accustomed to hearing the master in small combos. Odd perhaps, but the opening cut, "Jubilation," immediately reassures with its up-tempo drive and spunk. This is followed by "Lady Di's Waltz," a mellow, and somewhat classical piece, appropriately recorded in London. Before one can become too comfortable with the strings, however, "Night Child" and "L'Impossible" utilize a small-band setting that includes guitarist Joe Pass.
In 1996, Oscar Peterson's sprawling Verve Songbooks were tapped for a 32-track sampler named after Jerome Kern's ballad "The Song Is You." In 2004, Back Up Records boiled it down to 17 tracks, presenting five apiece by George Gershwin and Duke Ellington and four by Vincent Youmans and Richard Rodgers, with Kern's title track perched at the top of the list like a cherry on a trifle. Recorded in 1952 and 1959 with guitarists Herb Ellis and Barney Kessel, bassist Ray Brown, and drummer Ed Thigpen, these pleasant, intimate performances of mainstream jazz standards are the very embodiment of accessibility and good taste, and may provide dependable background support for lounging, dining, comfortable carousing, and casual conversation.
Oscar Peterson was one of the greatest piano players of all time. A pianist with phenomenal technique on the level of his idol, Art Tatum, Peterson's speed, dexterity, and ability to swing at any tempo were amazing. Very effective in small groups, jam sessions, and in accompanying singers, O.P. was at his absolute best when performing unaccompanied solos. His original style did not fall into any specific idiom. Like Erroll Garner and George Shearing, Peterson's distinctive playing formed during the mid- to late '40s and fell somewhere between swing and bop. Peterson was criticized through the years because he used so many notes, didn't evolve much since the 1950s, and recorded a remarkable number of albums.
Digitally remastered and expanded edition contains the complete classic album Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson which presents Satchmo singing and playing standards that were not part of his usual repertoire. Featuring Oscar Peterson, Herb Ellis, Ray Brown and Louis Bellson. As a bonus, two rare tunes from the same session and an alternate take of 'Let's Fall in Love' only previously available on compilations, and the four Armstrong showcase tunes from the Ella & Louis Again session.