Help Wanted: Oscar Peterson Trio

Jeff Bamberger

Second Unit
Joined
Sep 15, 1999
Messages
495
I just recently was introduced to the Oscar Peterson Trio and absolutely loved what I heard.

What do folks consider to be the must have CDs from the OPT and why?

Thanks ahead of time for your help!
 

Ron Reda

Effects Supervisor
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Jul 27, 2001
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2,276
I was a fan of Night Train when I first got it...but I can't remember why!
Just good jazz I guess...
 

Mike Broadman

Cinematographer
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Aug 24, 2001
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Another vote for Night Train.

Peterson is no doubt extremely talented, but the biggest criticism people have (some to the point where they just plain don't like him) is that he embellishes a lot, to where the song is lost or it doesn't make artistic sense. While I think he does this sometimes, the truth as I see it as that it depends on the context.

And, hey, if Lester Young saw fit to make an album or two with him, well then I trust his judgement more than any of the critics.

Night Train finds Peterson with a very sympathetic trio. His playing his very nice, legendary bassist Ray Brown turns out a typically perfect performance, and the sound is pretty solid.
 

andrew markworthy

Cinematographer
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Sep 30, 1999
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Generally speaking the late 50s/60s work is the most critically admired. However, don't let that put you off his later work - I was fortunate enough to see him play with Louis Bellson and Ray Brown in the late 70s and he was stellar. The one thing I'd caution is that after a while his stuff can begin to sound pretty similar. As Mike has alluded to, all the embellishments can make you lose track of the tune, but in addition the embellishments aren't all that varied, so after hearing several OP albums I think it's a case of diminishing returns. Before anyone flames me for saying that, I must add at once that what you are hearing is still worth hearing, but I think a lot of the freshness is gone. I used to think I was an ignoramus for saying that, but over the years I've talked to several jazz fans and musicians who have said the same thing.

If you like Oscar Peterson's style, may I suggest you also try listening to Art Tatum's output (particularly the solo work)?
 

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