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Oscar Peterson|A Time for Love: The Oscar Peterson Quartet Live in Helsinki, 1987

A Time for Love: The Oscar Peterson Quartet Live in Helsinki, 1987

Oscar Peterson

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Loved by fans but underrated or derided as a showman rather than an innovator by purists, the late Canadian pianist Oscar Peterson, who won seven Grammy Awards and released over 200 albums in his lifetime, is also often thought of as one of the great keyboard accompanists from his time backing Ella Fitzgerald. An apostle of a crowd-pleasing mainstream aesthetic, Peterson could also be an engaging straight-ahead jazz player especially when pushed, which on this unreleased "lost" recording from a 1987 European tour, is done by virtuoso electric guitarist Joe Pass. Recorded at Helsinki's Kulttuuritalo by Heikki Hölttä and Pentti Männikkö of the Finnish Broadcasting Company in clear, beautifully balanced sound, the set opens with a trio of Peterson compositions, one of which, "Love Ballade," is a long, undeniably beautiful example of Peterson the writer and player at his sweetest and soulful best. Despite the title, the three-part "A Salute to Bach," is a anything but a dry attempt to replicate the classical keyboard master although there are moments during its 20-minute run time—particularly in the Andante section—where Peterson ups the tempos and plays passages that vaguely imitate Bach's style. Pass is especially wonderful in this piece, staying alongside the pianist as the pace increases, adding exclamations and competing heat to the racing fires. Supported by Peterson's longtime rhythm section of English drummer Martin Drew and fellow Canadian bassist Dave Young, all the musicians settle into a familiar groove in the concert's all standards second half where Peterson favorite, Benny Goodman's "Soft Winds," gets a swinging reading with the pianist's fleet digits adding his trademark showy runs. Listeners can decide if Peterson's lively take on Bill Evans' "Waltz for Debby," which contains a brief quote from "Pop Goes the Weasel," is either evidence that Peterson had no interest in being a serious jazz player as he frolics and improvises around the familiar melody, or the enjoyable transformation of an overly serious jazz number into an accessible showpiece. That's followed by a pair of sure-to-please showstoppers with Pass weaving his gentle way through "When You Wish Upon a Star," while the entire band joins for a rousing medley of Ellington tunes that opens with "Take the A Train." Welcoming and apparent, Peterson was the master of quartet jazz made for the masses. © Robert Baird/Qobuz

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A Time for Love: The Oscar Peterson Quartet Live in Helsinki, 1987

Oscar Peterson

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1
Cool Walk (Live)
00:09:07

Heikki Hölttä, RecordingEngineer - Oscar Peterson, Composer, MainArtist - Blaise Favre, MasteringEngineer, MixingEngineer - Pentti Männikkö, RecordingEngineer - Kelly Peterson, Producer - Tomi Music Company/Sony Music Publishing [BMI], MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Two Lions Records under exclusive worldwide license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC (P) 2021 Two Lions Records under exclusive worldwide license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC

2
Sushi (Live)
00:06:57

Heikki Hölttä, RecordingEngineer - Oscar Peterson, Composer, MainArtist - Blaise Favre, MasteringEngineer, MixingEngineer - Pentti Männikkö, RecordingEngineer - Kelly Peterson, Producer - Tomi Music Company/Sony Music Publishing [BMI], MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Two Lions Records under exclusive worldwide license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC (P) 2021 Two Lions Records under exclusive worldwide license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC

3
Love Ballade (Live)
00:10:40

Heikki Hölttä, RecordingEngineer - Oscar Peterson, Composer, MainArtist - Blaise Favre, MasteringEngineer, MixingEngineer - Pentti Männikkö, RecordingEngineer - Kelly Peterson, Producer - Tomi Music Company/Sony Music Publishing [BMI], MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Two Lions Records under exclusive worldwide license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC (P) 2021 Two Lions Records under exclusive worldwide license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC

4
A Salute to Bach (Medley): Allegro / Andante / Bach’s Blues (Live)
00:20:38

Heikki Hölttä, RecordingEngineer - Oscar Peterson, Composer, MainArtist - Blaise Favre, MasteringEngineer, MixingEngineer - Pentti Männikkö, RecordingEngineer - Kelly Peterson, Producer - Tomi Music Company/Sony Music Publishing [BMI], MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Two Lions Records under exclusive worldwide license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC (P) 2021 Two Lions Records under exclusive worldwide license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC

5
Cakewalk (Live)
00:09:17

Heikki Hölttä, RecordingEngineer - Oscar Peterson, Composer, MainArtist - Blaise Favre, MasteringEngineer, MixingEngineer - Pentti Männikkö, RecordingEngineer - Kelly Peterson, Producer - Tomi Music Company/Sony Music Publishing [BMI], MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Two Lions Records under exclusive worldwide license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC (P) 2021 Two Lions Records under exclusive worldwide license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC

6
A Time for Love (Live)
00:08:09

JOHNNY MANDEL, Composer - Heikki Hölttä, RecordingEngineer - Oscar Peterson, MainArtist - Blaise Favre, MasteringEngineer, MixingEngineer - Pentti Männikkö, RecordingEngineer - Kelly Peterson, Producer - Warner Bros Music [ASCAP], MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Two Lions Records under exclusive worldwide license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC (P) 2021 Two Lions Records under exclusive worldwide license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC

7
How High the Moon (Live)
00:04:28

Heikki Hölttä, RecordingEngineer - Morgan Lewis, Composer - Oscar Peterson, MainArtist - Blaise Favre, MasteringEngineer, MixingEngineer - Pentti Männikkö, RecordingEngineer - Kelly Peterson, Producer - Chappell-Co Inc/Warner Chappell Music [ASCAP], MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Two Lions Records under exclusive worldwide license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC (P) 2021 Two Lions Records under exclusive worldwide license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC

8
Soft Winds (Live)
00:06:03

Benny Goodman, Composer - Heikki Hölttä, RecordingEngineer - Oscar Peterson, MainArtist - Blaise Favre, MasteringEngineer, MixingEngineer - Pentti Männikkö, RecordingEngineer - Kelly Peterson, Producer - Jewel Music Publishing Co Inc. [BMI], MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Two Lions Records under exclusive worldwide license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC (P) 2021 Two Lions Records under exclusive worldwide license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC

9
Waltz for Debby (Live)
00:05:18

Bill Evans, Composer - Heikki Hölttä, RecordingEngineer - Oscar Peterson, MainArtist - Blaise Favre, MasteringEngineer, MixingEngineer - Pentti Männikkö, RecordingEngineer - Kelly Peterson, Producer - Folkways Music Publishers Inc. [BMI], MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Two Lions Records under exclusive worldwide license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC (P) 2021 Two Lions Records under exclusive worldwide license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC

10
When You Wish Upon a Star (Live)
00:04:54

Ned Washington, Composer - Leigh Harline, Composer - Heikki Hölttä, RecordingEngineer - Oscar Peterson, MainArtist - Blaise Favre, MasteringEngineer, MixingEngineer - Pentti Männikkö, RecordingEngineer - Kelly Peterson, Producer - Bourne Co [ASCAP], MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Two Lions Records under exclusive worldwide license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC (P) 2021 Two Lions Records under exclusive worldwide license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC

11
Duke Ellington Medley: Take the “A” Train / Don’t Get Around Much Anymore / Come Sunday / C-Jam Blues / Lush Life / Caravan (Live)
00:18:57

Duke Ellington, Composer - Billy Strayhorn, Composer - Juan Tizol, Composer - Heikki Hölttä, RecordingEngineer - Oscar Peterson, MainArtist - Blaise Favre, MasteringEngineer, MixingEngineer - Pentti Männikkö, RecordingEngineer - Kelly Peterson, Producer - Billy Strayhorn Songs Inc./Reservoir Media Music [ASCAP], MusicPublisher - Sony ATV Harmony [ASCAP], MusicPublisher - Tempo Music/Music Sales Corporation [ASCAP], MusicPublisher - EMI Robbins Catalog Inc./Sony ATV [ASCAP], MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Two Lions Records under exclusive worldwide license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC (P) 2021 Two Lions Records under exclusive worldwide license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC

12
Blues Etude (Live)
00:05:55

Heikki Hölttä, RecordingEngineer - Oscar Peterson, Composer, MainArtist - Blaise Favre, MasteringEngineer, MixingEngineer - Pentti Männikkö, RecordingEngineer - Kelly Peterson, Producer - Tomi Music Company/Sony Music Publishing [BMI], MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Two Lions Records under exclusive worldwide license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC (P) 2021 Two Lions Records under exclusive worldwide license to Mack Avenue Records II, LLC

Album Description

Loved by fans but underrated or derided as a showman rather than an innovator by purists, the late Canadian pianist Oscar Peterson, who won seven Grammy Awards and released over 200 albums in his lifetime, is also often thought of as one of the great keyboard accompanists from his time backing Ella Fitzgerald. An apostle of a crowd-pleasing mainstream aesthetic, Peterson could also be an engaging straight-ahead jazz player especially when pushed, which on this unreleased "lost" recording from a 1987 European tour, is done by virtuoso electric guitarist Joe Pass. Recorded at Helsinki's Kulttuuritalo by Heikki Hölttä and Pentti Männikkö of the Finnish Broadcasting Company in clear, beautifully balanced sound, the set opens with a trio of Peterson compositions, one of which, "Love Ballade," is a long, undeniably beautiful example of Peterson the writer and player at his sweetest and soulful best. Despite the title, the three-part "A Salute to Bach," is a anything but a dry attempt to replicate the classical keyboard master although there are moments during its 20-minute run time—particularly in the Andante section—where Peterson ups the tempos and plays passages that vaguely imitate Bach's style. Pass is especially wonderful in this piece, staying alongside the pianist as the pace increases, adding exclamations and competing heat to the racing fires. Supported by Peterson's longtime rhythm section of English drummer Martin Drew and fellow Canadian bassist Dave Young, all the musicians settle into a familiar groove in the concert's all standards second half where Peterson favorite, Benny Goodman's "Soft Winds," gets a swinging reading with the pianist's fleet digits adding his trademark showy runs. Listeners can decide if Peterson's lively take on Bill Evans' "Waltz for Debby," which contains a brief quote from "Pop Goes the Weasel," is either evidence that Peterson had no interest in being a serious jazz player as he frolics and improvises around the familiar melody, or the enjoyable transformation of an overly serious jazz number into an accessible showpiece. That's followed by a pair of sure-to-please showstoppers with Pass weaving his gentle way through "When You Wish Upon a Star," while the entire band joins for a rousing medley of Ellington tunes that opens with "Take the A Train." Welcoming and apparent, Peterson was the master of quartet jazz made for the masses. © Robert Baird/Qobuz

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