Oscar Peterson: On the Town (1958)
This live outing (so intimate you can hear glasses clink in the background) was recorded in Peterson's home country of Canada, and features what was arguably Peterson's best trio. Generally a piano-bass-guitar trio leaves too much room to fill, but Peterson is too boisterous to leave any open space and too swinging to really need a drummer in the first place. By the time of this recording the three musicians had developed an almost telepathic rapport which enabled them to flawlessly run through any tune; a daunting task, since Peterson isn't the easiest pianist to keep up with. Reportedly Ellis and Brown spent many practice sessions by themselves working through the changes, anticipating his every possible move. Good thing, since many of these tunes go off at a fearful pace. The live setting no doubt brought out the showman in Peterson, who stitches together elements of gospel, blues, and stride to create dazzling solos with his steady left hand and knuckle-busting right, entertaining at times simply because of brilliant technique. Ellis and Brown are content to provi
Track Listing: Sweet Georgia Brown, Should I?, When Lights are Low, Easy Listenin' Blues, Pennies From Heaven, The Champ, Moonlight in Vermont, Baby, Baby All the Time, I Like to Recognize the Tune, Joy Spring, Gal in Calico, Love is Here to Stay.
Personnel: Oscar Peterson, piano; Herb Ellis, guitar; Ray Brown, bass.
Record Label: Verve Music Group