Two classic albums on one CD, 2012 new digital remaster with full original album art in booklet. Oscar Peterson's 1962 album, Oscar Peterson Plays: West Side Story, features the pianist and his trio with bassist Ray Brown and drummer Ed Thigpen, reinterpreting compositions from the classic 1961 film version of the Broadway musical. This is a highly engaging album that showcases Peterson's trio at their finest, with some truly inventive takes on such songs as "Somewhere," "Tonight," and "Maria." Oscar Peterson's 1959 album, Play Porgy & Bess, features the pianist and his trio (with bassist Ray Brown and drummer Ed Thigpen) explore ten of the stronger themes from George Gershwin's Porgy & Bess…
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.
The Trio is a 1973 live album by Oscar Peterson, Joe Pass and Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen. At the Grammy Awards of 1975, The Trio won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Performance by a Group. In his Allmusic review, critic Scott Yanow complimented the playing of Pass and Pedersen, but wrote "the reason to acquire this set is for the remarkable Oscar Peterson. The pianist brilliantly investigates several jazz styles… Peterson really flourished during his years with Norman Granz's Pablo label, and this was one of his finest recordings of the period."
While it's true that Oscar Peterson compilations appeared with regularity form the early '60s on, only a few of them – as with most recording artists – have any real merit. This two-disc collection from the Concord Music Group's Telarc label, is one of them. Appearing less than a year before his death, this compilation concentrates on recordings issued from the '50s through the middle of the '80s on Dizzy Gillespie's Pablo label, and those made for Telarc between 1990 and 2000. Many live dates are included here from both labels, including "Tenderly" with Herb Ellis and Ray Brown at the J.A.T.P. concerts in Japan; the trio dates at Zardi's in 1955 ("How High the Moon"), in Copenhagen with Joe Pass, Stéphane Grappelli, and Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen in 1979, and Mickey Roker in 1979 ("Nuages")….