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Jazz - Released January 1, 1959 | 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 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 1, 1997 | Verve

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 September 24, 1996 | Verve Reissues

Oscar Peterson's week-long engagement at Chicago's London House was initially partially released as four LPs: The Trio, The Sound of the Trio, Put On a Happy Face and Something Warm. This five-CD set greatly expands upon the program, reissuing the four albums and 30 previously unissued selections. Peterson, bassist Ray Brown and drummer Ed Thigpen worked together quite well, with O.P. easily the dominant force, but this very extensive set is mostly for Peterson completists and his greatest fans, because a certain sameness pervades the music after awhile. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2011 | Verve Reissues

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Jazz - Released January 31, 2014 | MPS

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The fifth volume of Oscar Peterson's Exclusively for My Friends series is another lively trio affair with Sam Jones and Bobby Durham, though the album title Mellow Mood is a bit deceptive. "In a Mellow Tone" plunges in full force with a bluesy performance, with the audience responding to Peterson's opening solo as Durham switches from brushes to sticks. Peterson's amusing detour into Mercer Ellington's "Things Ain't What They Used to Be" and Jones' driving bass add to its appeal. His arrangement of Horace Silver's "Nica's Dream" begins quietly before he slowly turns on the turbochargers in an inspired performance. Gone is the overly dramatic introduction to "On Green Dolphin Street" heard during the earlier 1961 sessions at the London House; this interpretation is far more compelling as it doesn't seek to overwhelm the listener with the pianist's technique. The snappy take of "Summertime" is infused with a blues feeling in a brisk setting, while "Who Can I Turn To" evokes the memory of Art Tatum, though this composition was obviously never recorded by Oscar's good friend. Peterson fires up the tempo as Jones and Durham join him. © Ken Dryden /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 31, 2014 | MPS

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The third volume of Oscar Peterson's Exclusively for My Friends series, all recorded with an invited audience in the warm studio of producer Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer, features live trio sessions with bassist Sam Jones and drummer Bobby Durham. The program opens with an unusual medley of Ray Brown's "Waltzing Is Hip" (played with gusto) and a gently swinging "Satin Doll." The influence of Art Tatum is apparent during his intricate runs within "Love Is Here to Stay," while the multifaceted original "Sandy's Blues" (dedicated to his wife) combines a dark mood with a swinging setting. The lighthearted waltzing treatment of "Alice in Wonderland" is pure joy, while another original, "Noreen's Nocturne," is simply a showstopper. © Ken Dryden /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1962 | Verve

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Blues - Released May 5, 2020 | Delta Records

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Jazz - Released January 31, 2014 | MPS

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Good '70 session from pianist Oscar Peterson, arguably the most recorded mainstream stylist ever. He's made so many albums over the years, with a great deal sounding similar, that while they're never bad, sometimes they're for keyboard freaks only. That's something of the case here, although Peterson spins some fabulous solos. © Ron Wynn /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 31, 2014 | MPS

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One of a number of memorable albums recorded by Oscar Peterson for MPS during the mid-'60s, Girl Talk was compiled from several live studio sessions taped between 1964 and 1966, with bassist Sam Jones and either Bobby Durham or Louis Hayes on drums. Peterson's romping right hand helps this normally bland show tune. The pianist's imaginative unaccompanied introduction to "I'm in the Mood for Love" adds a new dimension to this old chestnut, with the rhythm section making a belated entrance; it is rather unusual to hear the trio play on just one song for 17 minutes. The title track, an overlooked gem jointly written by Bobby Troup and Neal Hefti, finds the leader in a bluesy mood. The relaxed but jaunty treatment of "Robbin's Nest" follows a powerful medley of "I Concentrate on You" and "Moon River" to wrap up this highly recommended session. © Ken Dryden /TiVo
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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 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 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
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1961 | Verve

The Oscar Peterson Trio with bassist Ray Brown and drummer Ed Thigpen lacked the competitiveness of his earlier group with Brown and guitarist Herb Ellis, and the later daring of his solo performances, but the pianist was generally in peak form during this era. He sticks to standards on this live CD (a good example of the Trio's playing), stretching out "Sometimes I'm Happy" creatively for over 11 minutes and uplifting such songs as "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning," "Chicago" and "The Night We Called It a Day." Few surprises occur, but Peterson plays at such a consistently high level that one doesn't mind. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 31, 2014 | MPS

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Oscar Peterson's series of recordings for Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer during the 1960s and early '70s are one of many high points in his long career. With George "Jiri" Mraz on bass and Ray Price on drums, Peterson's flashy romp through "I Love You" (complete with a humorous detour into the opera "Pagliacci") and mid-tempo walk through "All of You" salute Cole Porter in style on Walking the Line. "Rock of Ages" isn't the old hymn but a lively, gospel-inflected Peterson original that will easily get any congregation swinging and swaying to the music. His mastery of the ballad form is heard in his sensitive interpretation of "Once Upon a Summertime," which showcases Mraz's gorgeous tone, as Price sits out this one. © Ken Dryden /TiVo
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Jazz - Released May 13, 2016 | MPS

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1991 | Telarc

Oscar Peterson reunited with guitarist Herb Ellis and bassist Ray Brown for this well-recorded engagement, which has resulted in four CDs being released by Telarc. The inclusion of drummer Bobby Durham did make the music a bit safer, and rather than revisit their classic complex arrangements, the ensemble jammed on the songs, so one does not hear the startling octaves that were present in the Oscar Peterson Trio's work of the late '50s. However, the repertoire on Saturday Night at the Blue Note (which includes two standards, Milt Jackson's "Reunion Blues," and five of Peterson's originals) is fresh and fairly challenging. Enjoyable music, it's recommended to the pianist's fans. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released September 9, 1953 | Verve Reissues