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Jazz - Released January 1, 1964 | Verve Reissues

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - The Qobuz Standard
Since several of the songs here are the type that would get requested (such as "People," "The Girl from Ipanema," and "The Days of Wine and Roses") in the mid-'60s, this particular Oscar Peterson CD reissue would not seem to have much potential, but the pianist mostly uplifts the material and adds a few songs (such as his own "Goodbye, J.D." and John Lewis' "D & E") that probably no one asked for. Overall, this is a reasonably enjoyable Oscar Peterson session, featuring bassist Ray Brown and drummer Ed Thigpen. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1959 | Verve Reissues

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Jazz - Released January 31, 2014 | MPS

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1975 | Fantasy Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1964 | Verve Reissues

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Since several of the songs here are the type that would get requested (such as "People," "The Girl from Ipanema," and "The Days of Wine and Roses") in the mid-'60s, this particular Oscar Peterson CD reissue would not seem to have much potential, but the pianist mostly uplifts the material and adds a few songs (such as his own "Goodbye, J.D." and John Lewis' "D & E") that probably no one asked for. Overall, this is a reasonably enjoyable Oscar Peterson session, featuring bassist Ray Brown and drummer Ed Thigpen. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1963 | Verve Reissues

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Master jazz pianist Oscar Peterson had his longest-running trio with bassist Ray Brown and drummer Ed Thigpen, and Night Train may be their finest moment. The repertoire here is comprised mostly of standards, although the choices seem deliberate. In treatments of jazz chestnuts like "C-Jam Blues" and "Georgia on My Mind," the trio works inside these well-known songs, painting over familiar colors and reworking traditional melodies while staying true to the spirit of each tune. The chemistry between Thigpen, Brown, and Peterson is unassailable. Peterson in particular is at the top of his game here, running the whole history of jazz through his dexterous, nimble fingers with an in-the-pocket ease not always apparent on his earlier recordings. Night Train was produced by Norman Granz, who had already sold Verve Records to MGM, but continued to record his favorite artists, of whom Peterson was one. The production is superb, and translates especially well via remastering. The Verve reissue features additional tracks, including alternate takes, rehearsals, full versions of "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" and "Volare," and an incomplete take of Charlie Parker's "Now's the Time." New packaging, expanded liner notes, and photographs make the 1997 CD version of Night Train a keeper. © Anthony Tognazzini /TiVo
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Ambient/New Age - Released January 1, 1995 | Telarc

Oscar Peterson takes it easy during his relaxed set. He had not completely recovered from his stroke but he was still an impressive pianist. Peterson, who is assisted by guitarist Lorne Lofsky, bassist David Young, and drummer Jerry Fuller, is joined by a 20-piece string section arranged and conducted by Rick Wilkins. The 14 holiday tunes (which include "God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman," "White Christmas," "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas") are given tasteful and lightly swinging treatments and there are guest appearances by vibraphonist Dave Samuels and flugelhornist Jack Schantz. But no real surprises or chancestaking occurs and the music is mostly just pleasant. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released February 15, 1960 | Verve Reissues

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1963 | Verve

Master jazz pianist Oscar Peterson had his longest-running trio with bassist Ray Brown and drummer Ed Thigpen, and Night Train may be their finest moment. The repertoire here is comprised mostly of standards, although the choices seem deliberate. In treatments of jazz chestnuts like "C-Jam Blues" and "Georgia on My Mind," the trio works inside these well-known songs, painting over familiar colors and reworking traditional melodies while staying true to the spirit of each tune. The chemistry between Thigpen, Brown, and Peterson is unassailable. Peterson in particular is at the top of his game here, running the whole history of jazz through his dexterous, nimble fingers with an in-the-pocket ease not always apparent on his earlier recordings. Night Train was produced by Norman Granz, who had already sold Verve Records to MGM, but continued to record his favorite artists, of whom Peterson was one. The production is superb, and translates especially well via remastering. The Verve reissue features additional tracks, including alternate takes, rehearsals, full versions of "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" and "Volare," and an incomplete take of Charlie Parker's "Now's the Time." New packaging, expanded liner notes, and photographs make the 1997 CD version of Night Train a keeper. © Anthony Tognazzini /TiVo
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Jazz - Released May 18, 1959 | Verve Reissues

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Pianist Oscar Peterson's Frank Sinatra tribute features his trio (with bassist Ray Brown and drummer Ed Thigpen) playing easy listening jazz versions of a dozen songs associated with the singer. The renditions are all under four minutes and are highlighted by "Come Dance with Me," "Just in Time," "I Get a Kick Out of You," and "How About You?" This is not one of Oscar Peterson's most essential dates, but it is swinging and enjoyable. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released February 1, 1960 | Verve

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Peterson proves adept at reworking George Gershwin. © Ron Wynn /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 31, 2014 | MPS

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This matchup between pianist Oscar Peterson, bassist Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, and drummer Louis Hayes directly precedes Peterson's recordings for Pablo. The pianist is in typically brilliant form on the LP, performing six standards (including "Soft Winds" and "On the Trail") along with his own "Wheatland." From the results here, it couldn't have been too surprising that Peterson would want to record frequently with Pedersen in future years. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 31, 2014 | MPS

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1999 | Telarc

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. In the spirit of democracy, each star gets a solo number -- Peterson plays his ballad "When Summer Comes," Jackson pours out a doleful "Nature Boy," and Brown's stream-of-consciousness medley eventually attracts the funky brushes of Riggins. But it's always better to hear them together. © Richard S. Ginell /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1962 | Verve

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West Side Story was a bit of an unusual session for several reasons. First, the popularity of both the Broadway musical and the film version that followed meant that there were many records being made of its music. Second, rather than woodshed on the selections prior to entering the studio, the Oscar Peterson Trio spontaneously created impressions of the musical's themes on the spot. "Something's Coming" seems like a series of vignettes, constantly shifting its mood, as if moving from one scene to the next. Ray Brown plays arco bass behind Peterson in the lovely "Somewhere," while the feeling to "Jet Song" is very hip in the trio's hands. The snappy interplay between the musicians in the brisk setting of "Tonight" turns it into a swinger. "Maria" initially has a light, dreamy quality, though it evolves into a solid groove. The romp through "I Feel Pretty" is full of humor, while the CD closes with a brief reprise of several themes from the musical to wrap the session with a flourish. © Ken Dryden /TiVo
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Jazz - Released October 10, 2007 | BDMUSIC

With powerful swing and pyrotechnic virtuosity, Oscar Peterson was a great genius of the piano. On these recordings, made between 1952 and 1956, the Canadian was accompanied by his faithful double bass player, Ray Brown, and two excellent guitarists, Barney Kessel and Herb Ellis. On the first disc, Peterson plays the repertoire of Count Basie with help from drummer Buddy Rich, followed by some of the great standard writers: Gershwin, Ellington, Arlen, Berlin... The second disc features some of his most impressive live trio recordings on which his abiding love for the stage is made clear. Piano pour pianiste is fascinating with its immaculate rhythms and every phrase imbued with beautiful harmonic poetry. Even (or especially) when it comes to the (occasionally somewhat hackneyed) standards, Oscar Peterson is able to carve out a fascinating swing that's all his own. Throughout this unmissable album, he preserves the heritage of his idols (the lyricism of Nat King Cole and the velocity of Art Tatum) with a high-flying refinement. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released January 31, 2014 | MPS

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Pianist Oscar Peterson joins up with his old friends, vibraphonist Milt Jackson and bassist Ray Brown, in addition to his drummer of the period, Louis Hayes, for a particularly enjoyable outing. After a throwaway version of the Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," the all-star quartet performs Jackson's title cut, Benny Carter's ballad "Dream of You," and four standards. Although not up to the excitement of Peterson's best Pablo recordings of the 1970s, this is an enjoyable album. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 31, 2014 | MPS

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Oscar Peterson recorded a remarkable amount of albums during his career but, surprisingly, this was his first full record of unaccompanied piano solos. Some observers consider his MPS recordings to be his best (quite a few are collected in the four-CD reissue Exclusively for My Friends, including this one). The solo album features Peterson (freed from the constraints of his trio) stretching out on nine familiar standards and really tearing into a few of them, including "Perdido," "Bye Bye Blackbird," "Lulu's Back in Town," while giving "Little Girl Blue" a beautiful and lyrical treatment. A prelude to his outstanding Pablo recordings, My Favorite Instrument is one of Peterson's top albums of the 1960s. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1959 | Verve Reissues

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Jerome Kern's stage tunes -- going back to the late '20s with the acclaimed presentation Show Boat -- right up to the '40s, will forever be at the core of quintessential American popular songs that hold a dear place in the heart of all straight-ahead jazz performers. Oscar Peterson's immortal trio with bassist Ray Brown and drummer Ed Thigpen play Kern's themes expertly, with no small degree of interpretation, and a clever angle on these well-worn songs that only Peterson can self-identify with his genius mindset. The title should be more accurately "The Jerome Kern & Friends Songbook," as he always co-wrote with such notables as Oscar Hammerstein II, Otto Harbach, Ira Gershwin, and Dorothy Fields, but these are all instrumental versions of his priceless musical scores and are immediately familiar without lyrics. From the actual Show Boat set list, "Ol' Man River" has endured the longest, and here it rumbles with Thigpen's incredible drums, rambles via Peterson, then has the pianist and bassist in cross talk with space. "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man" is a tender ballad, slowly unfolding as the chiming chords of Peterson's reflect a melodic comparison of "Stairway to the Stars." The third Show Boat revision, "Bill," is so downplayed and minimal that it is reduced to a steamy crawl. Most astute listeners will easily recognize the perky and hopped up "I Won't Dance" due to Thigpen's expert brush work, while Peterson changes up the harmonic insides of the tune and speeds along on a death-defying solo. "The Song Is You" stops and starts fearlessly then jams into fourth gear immediately, "The Way You Look Tonight" is standard, reliable fare remade in Peterson's image with no strain, and his girthy chords block out "A Fine Romance." There's always a regal side to the pianist in his ability to perceptively tone down his wilder notions; the effortless, serene, and supremely confident take of "Long Ago," a British-styled "Lovely to Look at You," and purely tender "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" act as final answer evidence. Of the many recordings this great jazz trio made, this is one of the top three, and even though it clocks in at under thirty five minutes with no alternate takes. It remains a monument to the Peterson trio's timeless quality, and is a fitting tribute to Jerome Kern's everlasting genius as one of the true great American popular songwriters. © Michael G. Nastos /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1964 | Verve

Some guest soloists get overshadowed by Oscar Peterson's technical prowess, while others meet him halfway with fireworks of their own; trumpeter Clark Terry lands in the latter camp on this fine 1964 session. With drummer Ed Thigpen and bassist Ray Brown providing solid support, the two soloists come off as intimate friends over the course of the album's ten ballad and blues numbers. And while Peterson shows myriad moods, from Ellington's impressionism on slow cuts like "They Didn't Believe Me" to fleet, single-line madness on his own "Squeaky's Blues," Terry goes in for blues and the blowzy on originals like "Mumbles" and "Incoherent Blues"; the trumpeter even airs out some of his singularly rambling and wonderful scat singing in the process. Other highlights include the rarely covered ballad "Jim" and the even more obscure "Brotherhood of Man" from the Broadway musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. A very engaging and enjoyable disc. © Stephen Cook /TiVo