Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Five Of My Favorite OSCAR PETERSON Recordings In No Particular Order:


A relaxed but constantly swinging trio session with Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen. This is the essence of piano trio communication with quality pop songs of the era like “Quiet Nights”, “Days Of Wine And Roses”, and “Have You Met Miss Jones”. The highlight however, is a John Lewis blues called “D&E”. Bob McAnulty used to play it at the old KLIQ studio in Portland, Oregon’s Oaks Park!


This is Oscar’s loving tribute to his Canadian homeland. It also features Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen, and finds the pianist running the table from joyous and swinging to luscious and elegant. It reminds us that, in addition to his piano virtuosity, Oscar Peterson was a first rate, formidable composer. My treasured copy is autographed by the master himself.


This fine CD set was recorded live at Chicago’s premier jazz club, The London House. It is a spectacular example of three musicians---Oscar, Ray and Ed (again)---at their peak and before a live, adoring audience. Stunning, brilliant performances, beginning to end. Hard to find but worth the search!


This CD puts Oscar in the company of guitarist Joe Pass and bassist Niels Pedersen. I remember playing it one day for a jazz pianist friend of mine. Although he loves Oscar, he went into a profanity-laced tirade---all in red-faced jealousy of the genius at the piano. OP’s “Blues Etude” will leave you shaking your head in how-can-that-be-possible amazement! And it just continues from there.

BLUES ETUDE – Limelight

This time we go from the song title “Blues Etude” to an album with that same name, but on a different label and in new company. Two Peterson trios share the riches, one with Sam Jones and Louis Hayes, and the other with Ray Brown and Louis Hayes. The nine tunes are divided between amazing OP originals and perfectly realized standards.


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