502

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

David Rickert By

Sign in to view read count
Oscar Peterson: Birth of A Legend: Oscar Peterson Historic Carnegie Hall Concerts Legend has it that Norman Granz wanted to introduce Oscar Peterson to America through his Carnegie Hall concerts, but the Canadian citizen couldn't obtain a work visa to allow him to appear. So Granz planted him in the audience and asked him to appear on stage with bassist Ray Brown for a set. The pianist wowed the crowd and became the talk of the town immediately afterward.

Those performances from 1949 are captured at the beginning of Birth Of A Legend, where we hear a flashy, dynamic virtuoso bound and determined to wow the crowd. His is a performance determined to turn heads, but obviously it's also in need of some restraint and nuance to allow him to become a successful interpreter of tunes.

Flash forward to 1952 and 1953 to later appearances at Carnegie Hall, and we can see how far Peterson had come. Now he appears with two configurations of his trio, which made the best use of the Nat King Cole sound other than Cole himself. Peterson and Brown are present on all ten tracks, joined on half by Barney Kessel and half by Herb Ellis, both on guitar. Peterson needed the extroverted tendencies of both men to balance out his sound, and neither disappoints.

At heart the Carnegie Hall concerts were blowing sessions, and thus everyone is a little more dynamic—fast tunes and not ballads are on the menu. Peterson's work with Kessel is in short supply currently, and it is a treat to hear him cut loose with his usual wit and pluck. For his part Ellis gets more breathing room (in the fold longer, the trio was able to refine the symbiotic relationship) and gets the spotlight on several tunes.

The crowd seemed to eat this stuff up, judging by its reaction to both groups. Audience members may have been whipped into a frenzy already by who came before, but no doubt Peterson was at least able to keep the fires burning. These Carnegie Hall concerts are a treat for those who like hot playing—and a welcome addition to the Peterson catalog.

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; Lollabrigida; Pompton Turnpike; Swingin' On A Star; Love For Sale; Swingin' Till The Girls Come Home.

Personnel: Oscar Peterson: piano; Barney Kessel, Herb Ellis: guitar; Ray Brown: bass.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Giant Steps | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Ha Noi Duo CD/LP/Track Review Ha Noi Duo
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Like, Strange CD/LP/Track Review Like, Strange
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Coalesce CD/LP/Track Review Coalesce
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Il sistema periodico CD/LP/Track Review Il sistema periodico
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Code Noir CD/LP/Track Review Code Noir
by James Nadal
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Welcome to Swingsville! CD/LP/Track Review Welcome to Swingsville!
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 26, 2017
Read "Conditions" CD/LP/Track Review Conditions
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 16, 2016
Read "Havana Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Havana Blue
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 13, 2016
Read "Abbey Road Sessions, Vol 1" CD/LP/Track Review Abbey Road Sessions, Vol 1
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 25, 2016
Read "Fake It Until You Make It" CD/LP/Track Review Fake It Until You Make It
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 17, 2016
Read "Hecho En Puerto Rico" CD/LP/Track Review Hecho En Puerto Rico
by James Nadal
Published: June 6, 2016
Read "Blue And Lonesome" CD/LP/Track Review Blue And Lonesome
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: December 11, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: DOT TIME RECORDS | BUT IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!