Pianist Oscar Peterson's final Pablo album (after a countless amount of appearances as both a leader and a sideman) features his quartet (which at the time included guitarist Joe Pass, bassist David Young and drummer Martin Drew) on the second of two CDs (along with Oscar Peterson Live) recorded during an engagement at Los Angeles's Westwood Playhouse in Nov. 1986. For the well-rounded set Peterson performs two of his originals, the blues "Soft Winds," a solo ballad medley and, as a climax, a burning version of "On the Trail."
The third of Oscar Peterson's five duet albums with great trumpeters (the other encounters feature Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Eldridge, Clark Terry, and Jon Faddis) teams the masterful pianist with the great swing stylist Harry "Sweets" Edison. The trumpeter, who uses repetition to great degree and had pared his style down to a relatively few notes, matches well with the virtuosic Peterson on these seven standards and their two simple originals, "Basie" and "Signify." Together Edison and O.P. give the impression that their chance-taking improvisations are completely logical and a lot easier to play than they really are.
Official 2016 remastered collection of Verve albums in replica card sleeves! Includes "Plays Count Basie", "A Jazz Portrait Of Frank Sinatra", "Jazz Soul Of Oscar Peterson", "Plays Porgy & Bess" & "West Side Story".
Here Lucky goes to Memphis. Several years into a solo career, the former blues whiz kid plays good keyboards and guitar, and sings stirringly on originals and covers from all over the black music map (Stevie Wonder, Jimi Hendrix, Les McCann & Eddie Harris, blues piano master Roosevelt Sykes, etc.) His modern soul-cum-blues is hot, sweaty, and aggressive, and he gets the job done in busy arrangements shared with the Memphis Horns, honey-throated back-up singers, and muscular hired guns like bassist Willie Weeks and drummer Crusher Green. Peterson had the good sense to collaborate with New Yorker Jim Payne when writing five songs for the album, including the killer slow blues instrumental that doubles as the album title.
Classical violinist Itzhak Perlman is not a jazz improviser, so this meeting with the Oscar Peterson Quartet is more a loving tribute to the melodies (ten veteran standards plus two Peterson originals) than a strong jazz date. While Perlman sticks closely to the themes, one's attention focuses much more on Peterson, who had suffered a serious stroke a few years earlier and had been inactive ever since. Peterson sounds healthy in his supportive role, and although it is doubtful if he sweat much during this relaxed music, his apparent comeback is great news. Guitarist Herb Ellis has the most rewarding solos, although his spots are short.