This first matchup on records between pianist Oscar Peterson and vibraphonist Milt Jackson was so logical that it is surprising it did not occur five years earlier…
Guitarist Herb Ellis still considers this to be one of his personal favorite recordings. Ellis was reunited with his old boss Oscar Peterson and, with the assistance of Peterson's trio of the period (with bassist Sam Jones and drummer Bobby Durham), the two lead voices often romp on the jam session-flavored set. Most of the chord changes are fairly basic (including three blues and "Seven Come Eleven"), and Peterson was clearly inspired by Ellis' presence (and vice versa).
Despite stints with Orchestras and duos Peterson loved the trio format best. Touring the world in the early Sixties with Ray Brown on Double Bass and Ed Thigpen on Drums the band settled in Chicago for a week long Residency, subsequently recording a four LP set of their performances. The two recordings here are considered the cream of the crop consisting of compositions from right across the 20th century along with two of Peterson's own, masterful creations. Originally released on Verve Records in 1961.
Those who consider themselves Oscar Peterson completists should be aware of The London House Sessions, a generous five-LP set that focuses exclusively on the Peterson Trio's 1961 engagement at Chicago's London House. However, completists are the only ones who would want to invest in this collection; others would be better off with individual LPs of the pianist's London House performances. One such LP is the Verve Master Edition of The Sound of the Trio, which was recorded in July 1961 and contains performances of "Tricotism," "On Green Dolphin Street," and "III Wind…
This outstanding DVD, recorded live at the Funkhaus, Hannover for a TV broadcast, on December 14, 1972, not only gives us the opportunity to listen to Webster, but far more rarely, to see him in performance, exquisitely backed by the Oscar Peterson Trio featuring the late Danish bassist Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen & Tony Inzalaco, drums.
Webster and Peterson played together many times, and the tenor saxophonist often said that Oscar was his favorite accompanist.
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.
Although the music of this two-LP set was recording at a concert in the Soviet Union, it is a fairly typical recital by pianist Oscar Peterson with no obvious reference to the exotic location. Peterson takes five selections unaccompanied, performs four others as duets with bassist Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, and adds drummer Jake Hanna to the nine remaining numbers. Other than three originals, all of the music is comprised of veteran standards and, although no real surprises occur, the results are what one would expect from the great Oscar Peterson, who alternates hard swingers with sensitive ballad renditions.
Oscar Peterson was recorded by Verve more often than any other artist. In those years, his groups had the ability to not just keep up with him but become equal partners in creating music that would soar the heights while never forgetting to flat-out swing. Hear him in classic duo, trio, and big-band settings with such stalwarts as Cannonball Adderley, Ray Brown, Herb Ellis, Sam Jones, Clark Terry, and Ed Thigpen.
Ne-o-clas-si-cism: A revival of classical aesthetics and forms, especially, characterized by a regard for the classical ideals of reason, form, and restraint, by order, symmetry, and simplicity of style. Neo-classicism and Roy Hargrove have become synonymous in jazz circles. His style and focus are now completely his own. Roy possesses a hard driving spirit to excel. Volumes have been written about the virtuosity of Oscar Peterson, his competitive spirit and drive. Together you have the makings of an exciting jam session that's well worth the price of admission. In this case the cost of the CD, that finds these two jazz poets working with a strong cast of players including Peterson's long time associate, Neils-Henning Ørsted Pedersen on bass. This quintet setting gives all the players ample room to stretch and have fun. This CD is highly recommended listening pleasure.