This Verve series is fun – each disc is an ‘Ultimate’ set of an artist’s songs, as chosen by another famous jazz musician. For example, the Clifford Brown set was selected by Nicholas Payton (yes!), Billie Holiday was chosen by Shirley Horn (yes!), Lester Young was selected by Wayne Shorter (yes!), etc. Amazing, I love it.
This Oscar Peterson set features songs chosen by bassist Ray Brown. I know! Brown, who played in trios with Peterson for 14 years, said, “Oscar had a power, he could play soft… and he could swing. He has that great command of the piano.” No kidding, brother!
There’s no arguing with Peterson’s talent. He was so strong and spectacular that the listener has the ease of just sitting back and marvelling as the songs wash over and infuse themselves into your brain. And of course, the track selection is perfect:
Sometimes I’m Happy / Love You Madly / In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning / Reunion Blues / Waltz For Debby / Blues For Big Scotia / Jet Song / Noreen’s Nocturne / Mumbles / Chicago
Bliss. I cannot stop playing this disc. So much gorgeousness, so much taste, incredible playing…
I’ll just leave track one here to lift your soul and leave you wanting more:
Just leaving this here to say I absolutely adore this album. It swings, it has the blues, and it’s so impeccably done that it oughta be in every collection, post-haste.
Released in 1995, it was the first album made since his stroke in 1993. I read somewhere that he never fully recovered use of his left hand, but in listening to this record with the good headphones on, there’s no sign at all of anything amiss.
First, the players:
Oscar Peterson – piano
Clark Terry – flugelhorn
Benny Carter – alto saxophone
Ray Brown – double bass
Lorne Lofsky – guitar
Lewis Nash – drums
And the tracks?
In A Mellow Tone
Gee Baby, Ain’t I Good To You
On The Trail
When My Dream Boat Comes Home
For All We Know
Blues For Lisa
The More I See You
Any questions? Haha I thought not! Love love love love LOVE.