Oscar Peterson Trio – Live In Belgrad 1961 (2008)

FrontCover1Oscar Peterson was one of the greatest piano players of all time. A pianist with phenomenal technique on the level of his idol, Art Tatum, Peterson’s speed, dexterity, and ability to swing at any tempo were amazing. Very effective in small groups, jam sessions, and in accompanying singers, O.P. was at his absolute best when performing unaccompanied solos. His original style did not fall into any specific idiom. Like Erroll Garner and George Shearing, Peterson’s distinctive playing formed during the mid- to late ’40s and fell somewhere between swing and bop. Peterson was criticized through the years because he used so many notes, didn’t evolve much since the 1950s, and recorded a remarkable number of albums. Perhaps it is because critics ran out of favorable adjectives to use early in his career; certainly it can be said that Peterson played 100 notes when other pianists might have used ten, but all 100 usually fit, and there is nothing wrong with showing off technique when it serves the music. As with Johnny Hodges and Thelonious Monk, to name two, Peterson spent his career growing within his style rather than making any major changes once his approach was set, certainly an acceptable way to handle one’s career. Because he was Norman Granz’s favorite pianist (along with Tatum) and the producer tended to record some of his artists excessively, Peterson made an incredible number of albums. Not all are essential, and a few are routine, but the great majority are quite excellent, and there are dozens of classics. (by Scott Yanow)

Oscar Peteron Trio 1961_01

Oscar Petersons relationship with Ray Brown had begun in 1949, when both performed together at Carnegie Hall during one of Norman Granzs Jazz at the Philharmonic concerts. From 1950 to 1952, Granz would often record the two musicians in a duo format, or even in trio, with Barney Kessel or Irving Ashby on guitar. From then on both would play and record in many formats, under Petersons name, multiple JATP concerts or backing such stars as Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker, Ella Fitzgerald (who was Browns wife), Lester Young or Ben Webster, to name just a few.

This release presents a rarely heard concert by Oscar Peterson in Yugoslavia. Brilliantly recorded, it is a perfect example of the interaction and mutual understanding of the Peterson – Brown – Thigpen unit, which would break apart in mid-1965. (

Oscar Peteron01

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

Alternate frontcover:

01. Les Feuillles Mortes (Autumn Leaves) (Prévert/Mercer/Kosma) 5.33
02. Tenderly (Lawrence/Gross) 7.42
03. Where Do We Go From Here (Robertson) 7.43
04. Cubana Chant  (Bryant) 7.47
05. Waltz For Debbie (Evans) 5.35
06. It Ain’t Necessarily So (Gershwin) 4.35
07. I Want To Be Here (Getz) 8.22
08. The Golden Striker (Lewis) 7.31

Oscar Peteron Trio 1964_01


More Oscar Peterson:


Oscar Peteron02
Oscar Emmanuel Peterson (August 15, 1925 – December 23, 2007)


Louis Armstrong & Oscar Peterson – Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson (1957)

LPFrontCover1.jpgLouis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson is a 1957 studio album by Louis Armstrong, accompanied by Oscar Peterson.

The album was reissued in 1997 on CD with four bonus tracks, recorded at the sessions that produced Ella and Louis Again. (by wikipedia)

By 1957, hard bop was firmly established as the “jazz of now,” while pianist Oscar Peterson and his ensemble with bassist Ray Brown and guitarist Herb Ellis were making their own distinctive presence felt as a true working band playing standards in the swing tradition. Louis Armstrong was more recognizable to the general public as a singer instead of the pioneering trumpet player he was. But popularity contests being the trend, Armstrong’s newer fans wanted to hear him entertain them, so in retrospect it was probably a good move to feature his vocalizing on these tracks with Peterson’s band and guest drummer Louie Bellson sitting in. The standard form of Armstrong singing the lead lines, followed by playing his pithy and witty horn solos based on the secondary melody, provides the basis for the format on this charming but predictable recording. What happens frequently is that Armstrong and Peterson play lovely ad lib vocal/piano duets at the outset of many tunes. They are all songs you likely know, with few upbeat numbers or obscure choices. It is, however, the familiarity of songs like the midtempo “Let’s Fall in Love,” with Armstrong’s gravelly scat singing, and his marvelous ability to riff off of the basic songs, that make these offerings endearing.


A classic take of “Blues in the Night” is the showstopper, while choosing “Moon Song” is a good, off-the-beaten-path pick as the trumpeter plays two solo choruses, and he leads out on his horn for once during the slightly bouncy, basic blues “I Was Doing All Right.” Some extremely slow tunes crop up on occasion, like “How Long Has This Been Going On?,” an atypically downtempo take of “Let’s Do It,” and “You Go to My Head,” featuring Peterson’s crystalline piano. There are the dependable swingers “Just One of Those Things,” “I Get a Kick Out of You,” and “Sweet Lorraine,” with Peterson at his accompanying best. There’s a ramped-up version of the usually downtrodden “Willow Weep for Me” and a duet between Armstrong and Ellis on the sad two-minute ditty “There’s No You.” All in all, it’s difficult to critique or find any real fault with these sessions, though Peterson is subsumed by the presence of Armstrong, who, as Leonard Feather notes, really needs nobody’s help. That this was their only collaboration speaks volumes to how interactive and communal the session really was, aside from the fairly precious music. (by Michael G. Nastos)


Louis Armstrong (trumpet, vocals)
Louie Bellson (drums)
Ray Brown (bass)
Herb Ellis (guitar)
Oscar Peterson (piano)

01. That Old Feeling (Brown/Fain) 2.45
02. Let’s Fall In Love (Arlen/Koehler) 3.17
03. I’ll Never Be The Same (Malneck/Signorelli/Kahn) 3.32
04. Blues In The Night (Arlen/Mercer) 5.13
05. How Long Has This Been Going On? (G.Gershwin/I.Gershwin) 5.59
06. I Was Doing All Right (G. Gershwin/I. Gershwin) 3.23
07. What’s New? (Burke/Haggart) 2.43
08. Moon Song (Coslow/Johnston) 4.34
09. Just One Of Those Things (Porter) 4.05
10. There’s No You (Adair/Hopper) 2.17
11. You Go To My Head (Coots/Gillespie) 6.27
12. Sweet Lorraine (Burwell/Parish) 5.14
13. I Get A Kick Out Of You (Porter) 4.19
14. Makin’ Whoopee (Donaldson/Kahn) 3.58
15. Willow Weep For Me (Ronell) 4.19
16. Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall In Love) (Porter) 8.42




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.


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)


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




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)


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

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



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)


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


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





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)

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


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)



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

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

CD1* (coming soon)