Various Artists – Putumayo Presents – Swing Around The World (2005)

frontcover1Putumayo World Music is a New York City-based record label, now specializing in compilations of music from various nations, regions, or musical styles which may be classified as world music.

In 1991, on his way home from Bali, Dan Storper stopped in San Francisco, California. In Golden Gate Park, he heard the Nigerian band Kotoja. He was impressed by the music and the way it gathered many different people.He made a compilation of music he had gathered on his journeys and gathered a positive response. This led him to give out his first release in 1993. Storper took the name of his record label, Putumayo, from Colombia’s Putumayo Department where he travelled in 1974. The word is said to be the name of a bird-

Every release features the art of Nicola Heindl. Her art is both folky and modern, and, according to the Putumayo website, “represents one of Putumayo’s goals: to connect the traditional to the contemporary.”

Typically a Putumayo World Music compilation is presented as a theme under the title “Putumayo Presents:” The themes can be regional (South Africa, Caribbean, Asia), music types (reggae, folk, Latin, jazz) and other themes (lounge, groove, party).

The Putumayo Kids division was created in 2002. Since the release of the World Playground CD in 1999, Putumayo Kids has achieved honors from Parents’ Choice Awards and the National Parenting Publications Association, and has grown to be one of the more important children’s record labels.

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Putumayo launched the Putumayo World Music Hour in 2000, a commercially-syndicated world music radio show. Rosalie Howarth of KFOG hosts the Music Hour. The weekly show is heard internationally on over 150 commercial and non-commercial stations.

Putumayo has ten offices worldwide. Their products are sold at a network of more than 3,000 book, gift, clothing, coffee and other specialty retailers in the US. The label claims to distribute their CDs in more than 80 countries around the world.

Putumayo’s compilations have been available digitally since August 2011. (by wikipedia)

And this is one of this very special releases:

Swing Around the World is certainly an unusual set, featuring modern swing and retro-swing as performed in several countries, most from the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The most interesting selections are the rarest ones, including selections from bands based in Zimbabwe, Mauritius, and Hawaii. The six numbers from American groups are largely unnecessary since several are common, and Clark Terry’s “Mumbles” (though a classic of its kind) is a bit out of place. Several of the groups are strongly influenced by Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. It is a pity that the complete personnel and dates are not given; however, there are enough interesting and rare performances to make this project of interest. (by Scott Yanow)

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Tracklist:
01. The Cool Crooners Of Bulawayo:  I Van Enkulu 2.55
02. Triton: Mari Niça Swing 2.53
03. Squirrel Nut Zippers: Pallin’ With Al 2.40
04. Oscar Peterson with Clark Terry:  Mumbles 2.00
05. Alfredo Rey E La Sua Orchestra: Fotoromanza  3.03
06. Duke Heitger And His Swing Band: Swing Pan Alley 2.28
07. Swing Maniacs: Mamma Mi Piace Il Ritmo 6.17
08. New Orleans Jazz Vipers: Blue Drag 4.20
09. Romane: Gypsy Fire  3.24
10. Ka’au Crater Boys: Opihi Man 2.47
11. Jambalaya Cajun Band: Hey, Rock  2.36
12. Children Of The Revolution: Minor Swing: To Django 4.08

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Oscar Peterson Trio – West Side Story (1962)

frontcover1West Side Story is a 1962 studio album by the Oscar Peterson and his trio.

The album featured seven interpretations of songs that had featured in the recent film, West Side Story.

Oscar Peterson discography is so immense that it’s difficult to sort through the entries. If you’re looking for a first purchase, “West Side Story” is a good pick, particularly if you are a fan of the original broadway or film soundtrack. Piano playing seemed to come so easily for Peterson that at times on records I’ve had the feeling he’s going through the paces. When he is at his best, though, he swings clean and hard and demonstrates he knows a tune inside and out. That is the case throughout this release. And he’s not afraid to turn some of the tunes in different directions. For example, he steps up the tempo on “Tonight,” a potentially risky move on an extremely romantic song, but the move works as Peterson, backed up by Ray Brown’s steady bass and Ed Thigpen’s tasteful drums, never falters. On the other hand, the pianist does not shy away from the lyricism of concertposter“Somewhere,” accenting the theme with ornate chording that mines the yearning and sadness that is at the heart of “West Side Story.” And he finds a relaxed, loping gait on “Jet Song,” a pace that for me captures the cheerful arrogance of the play’s street gang. Interpretations of “West Side Story” have been attempted before, most notably Dave Liebman’s more experimental effort a few years back. For me, Peterson’s approach is the more successful of the two in that I think he came closer to finding the pulse of the original work. This is a good addition to the mainstream section of your jazz piano collection. (hyperbolium)

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.(by Ken Dryden)

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Personnel:
Ray Brown (bass)
Oscar Peterson (piano)
Ed Thigpen (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Something’s Coming 3.56
02. Somewhere 5.36
03. Jet Song 7.49
04. Tonight 4.36
05. Maria 4.55
06. I Feel Pretty 4.29
07. Reprise 4.18

Music by Leonard Bernstein + Stephen Sondheim

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Oscar Peterson – Oscar In Paris – Live At The Salle Pleyel (1996)

FrontCover1Recorded at the Salle Pleyel in June 1996, this two-CD set finds Peterson in typically buoyant form. The pianist’s huge sense of swing gets an extra kick from guitarist Lorne Lofsky, bassist Niels-Henning rsted Pedersen and drummer Martin Drew. The international group (two Canadians, one Dane and one Englishman) covers nine Peterson originals and four standards.

Rodgers and Hart’s “Falling in Love with Love” sets the tone of the discs: Lofsky cooks effervescently, Peterson’s lines groove and scamper with boundless drive, Pedersen walks some of the fattest, most resonant lines in the business and Drew draws it all together. (Similar examples include the pianist’s “Sushi” and “Kelly’s Blues.”) On the ballad side, Peterson’s exposition of his “She Has Gone” is a reminder of his ability to create a romantic late-night mood through restrained tinkling treble lines. Peterson has recorded prolifically throughout his career; this uplifting set maintains his high standards of technique and swing. (by Owen Cordle)

Nonpareil pianist Oscar Peterson may have lost the use of his left hand following his stroke, but he’s still got more technique and swing than most of the pianists out there. If you doubt that, check out this recording made in Paris in 1996 with his quartet. Peterson is a treasure, and his takes on these originals and standards offer ample evidence. (by Ross Boissoneau)

“…this package…is cause for pleasure….a finely balanced program….through it all he swings like mad…”(Down Beat 2/98)

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Personnel:
Martin Drew (drums)
Lorne Lofsky (guitar)
Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen (bass)
Oscar Peterson (piano)

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Tracklist:
01. Falling In Love With Love (Rodgers/Hart) 9.17
02. Nighttime (Peterson) 8.39
03. Tranquille (Peterson) 9.30
04. Smudge (Peterson) 8.47
05. Love Ballade (Peterson) 10.31
06. Sushi (Peterson) 8.44
07. Kelly’s Blues (Peterson) 7.08
08. She Has Gone (Peterson) 8.08
09. You Look Good To Me (Wells/Lefco) 7.18
10. Peace (Peterson) 8.35
11. Sweet Georgia Brown (Bernie/Pinkard/Casey) 8.23
12. Here’s That Rainy Day (Burke/v.Heusen) / We Will Love Again (Peterson) 10.56

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Lester Young with The Oscar Peterson Trio – Same (1952)

FrontCover1Lester Young with the Oscar Peterson Trio is a 1954 studio album by Lester Young, accompanied by the Oscar Peterson Quartet, although the title incorrectly states the band is a trio. The music on this album was originally released as three separate albums: Lester Young with the Oscar Peterson Trio #1 and Lester Young with the Oscar Peterson Trio #2, both released in June 1954 (MGN 5-6), and The President Plays with Oscar Peterson (April 1956, MGN 1054). It was collated for this 1997 reissue by Verve Records. (by wikipedia)
Defying what has become conventional wisdom, tenor saxophonist Lester Young cut some of his greatest recordings in the 1950s — that is, when he was reasonably healthy. On this wonderful effort with pianist Oscar Peterson, guitarist Barney Kessel, bassist Ray Brown, and drummer J.C. Heard, Prez performs definitive versions of “Just You, Just Me” and “Tea for Two,” and plays a string of concise but memorable ballad renditions: “On the Sunny Side of the Street,” “Almost Like Being in Love,” “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love,” “There Will Never Be Another You,” and “I’m Confessin’.” This is essential music from a jazz legend. [Some reissues augment the original dozen songs with a version of the good-humored “It Takes Two to Tango,” which features Young’s only recorded vocals, plus a rather unnecessary false start (on “I Can’t Get Started,” ironically), along with some studio chatter.] (by Scott Yanow)

Lester YoungPersonnel:
Ray Brown (bass)
J. C. Heard (drums)
Barney Kessel (guitar)
Oscar Peterson (piano)
Lester Young (saxophone, vocals on 13.)

Front + backcover of the first EP (1952)

Front + backcover of the first EP (1952)

Tracklist:
01. Ad Lib Blues (Peterson/Young) 5.54
02. I Can’t Get Started (Duke/I.Gershwin) 3.41
03. Just You, Just Me (Greer/Klages) 7.40
04. Almost Like Being In Love (Lerner/Loewe) 3.34
05. Tea For Two (Caesar/Youmans) 7.45
06. There Will Never Be Another You (/Gordon/Warren) 3.28
07. (Back Home Again In) Indiana (Hanley/MacDonald) 7.04
08. On The Sunny Side Of The Street (Fields/McHugh) 3.27
09. Stardust (Carmichael/Parish) 3.35
10. (I’m) Confessin’ (That I Love You) (Daugherty/Neiburg/Reynolds) 3.41
11. I Can’t Give You Anything But Love (Fields/McHugh) 3.22
12. These Foolish Things (Link/Marvell/Strachey) 3.27
13. (It Takes) Two To Tango” (Rehearsal, False Start and Chatter (Al Hoffman, Dick Manning) 6.06
14. I Can’t Get Started (false start) 0.53

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Various Artists – Beatles vs. Stones – British Pop Hits Go Groovy (2010)

FrontCover1Part of Verve’s Jazz Club series, Beatles vs. Stones collects 18 songs (nine apiece) from the two British Invasion icons, all of which arrive in the form of covers performed by the likes of Count Basie (“Michelle”), Shake Keane with the Ivor Raymonde Orchestra (“As Tears Go By”), Oscar Peterson (“Yesterday”), and Caetano Veloso (“Let It Bleed”).

Appropriately budget-priced, the concept is pure novelty, but hearing the jazz elite interpret some of the most famous rock & roll songs in history is almost worth the small change. (by James Christopher Monger)

Booklet12010 collection of cover versions of Beatles and Stones classics performed by the Jazz elite. The JAZZ CLUB series is an attractive addition to the Verve catalogue. With its modern design and popular choice of repertoire, the JAZZ CLUB is not only opened for Jazz fans, but for everyone that loves good music. This collection includes tracks performed by Count Basie, Wes Montgomery, Oscar Peterson, Sergio Mendes and many others. (by cduniverse.com)

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Tracklist:

Beatles:
01. Count Basie: Michelle (1966) 2.46
02. Wes Montgomery: Eleanor Rigby (1967) 3.07
03. Wills Jackson: A Hard Days Night (1965) 5.37
04. Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66: With A Little Help From My Friends (1970) 2.33
05. Monty Alexander: Let It Be (1970) 3.42
06. Oscar Peterson: Yesterday (1970) 4.04
07. Gerry Mulligan: Can t Buy Me Love (1965) 3.38
08. Ella Fitzgerald: Hey Jude (1969) 3.52
09. George Benson: Because/Come Together (1969) 7.26

All songs written by John Lennon + Paul McCartney

Stones:
10. The Andrew Oldham Orchestra: Blue Turns To Grey (1966) 2.55
11. Kai Winding: Time Is On My Side (1963) 3.12
12. Shake Keane w. The Ivor Raymonde Orchestra: As Tears Go By (1968) 3.09
13. Ted Heath & His Music: Honky Tonk Women (1969) 3.23
14. Rotary Connection feat. Minnie Ripperton: The Salt Of The Earth (1969) 4.59
15. Barbara Dennerlein: Satisfaction (1999) 5.21
16. Peter Thomas Sound Orchestra: Jumpin Jack Flash (1968) 2.32
17. Cal Tjader: Gimme Shelter (1995) 2.55
18. Caetano Veloso: Let It Bleed (1968) 3.22

All songs written by Mick Hagger + Keith Richards

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