447

Oscar Peterson: Birth of a Legend: Historic Carnegie Hall Concerts

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
Oscar Peterson: Birth of a Legend: Historic Carnegie Hall Concerts It's probably safe to say that Oscar Peterson has never shown much understanding of restraint in the course of his lengthy career, and indeed it might be argued that his whole approach to the piano has always run the the risk of coming across as the triumph of technique.

Things are a little different on Birth of a Legend. The music was recorded between 1949 and 1953, and during this period, Peterson's characteristically ebullient swing was like the most benevolent force of nature, rather than the work of a musician who viewed piano playing as some triumph of the will. Indeed, on "I Only Have Eyes For You," he sounds like the best amalgam of Art Tatum and Bud Powell, even while he lacked the incendiary qualities of the latter. He does however prove himself to have been capable of reproducing Charlie Parker's lines on "Padovane," where his lust for life is only too apparent.

The programme is split between piano/bass duos and trio tracks; the addition of either Herb Ellis or Barney Kessel on guitar sees the establishment of a lineup that Peterson's main influence, Tatum, worked in with much success. This trio music has the warmth and ebullience—that word again—that perhaps fell away the longer Peterson maintained a unit, and "Swingin' Till The Girls Come Home" as it's put across here by Peterson, Ellis and Brown reflects a group at the top of its game. "Tenderly" also offers evidence of how multifaceted the group with Ellis could be, and the Carnegie Hall audience appears audibly surprised by the restraint it shows.

Anyone for whom Peterson is the first and last word on jazz piano is likely to already have this music in some form or other. The rest might just find this release the one shot they need to hear his work. Certainly a lot of his later excesses are largely absent on Birth of a Legend, and that's a recommendation in itself.


Track Listing: Fine And Dandy; I Only Have Eyes For You; Carnegie Blues; Gai; Padovane; Sweet Georgia Brown; Cheek To Cheek; C Jam Blues; Tenderly; Seven Comes Eleven; Lollobridgida; Pompton Turnpike; Swingin' On A Star; Love For Sale; Swingin' 'Till The Girls Come Home.

Personnel: Oscar Peterson: piano; Ray Brown: bass; Barney Kessel: guitar (6-10); Herb Ellis: guitar (11-15).

Title: Birth of a Legend: Historic Carnegie Hall Concerts | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Giant Steps


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Company I Keep CD/LP/Track Review The Company I Keep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ma De Re Sha CD/LP/Track Review Ma De Re Sha
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ask Seek Knock CD/LP/Track Review Ask Seek Knock
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Air and Light and Time and Space CD/LP/Track Review Air and Light and Time and Space
by John Eyles
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "Around The Horn" CD/LP/Track Review Around The Horn
by Jeff Winbush
Published: April 16, 2017
Read "The Picasso Zone" CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 11, 2016
Read "Another Place, Another Time" CD/LP/Track Review Another Place, Another Time
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 18, 2017
Read "Chance Meeting" CD/LP/Track Review Chance Meeting
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 28, 2016
Read "Clockwise / The Music of Cedar Walton" CD/LP/Track Review Clockwise / The Music of Cedar Walton
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 11, 2017
Read "Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series Vol. 5" CD/LP/Track Review Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series Vol. 5
by Doug Collette
Published: October 19, 2016

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.