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.

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


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

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 Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 27, 2017
Read The Late Trane CD/LP/Track Review The Late Trane
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "EE-YA-GI (Stories)" CD/LP/Track Review EE-YA-GI (Stories)
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 19, 2017
Read "Lantern" CD/LP/Track Review Lantern
by John Kelman
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Disappearing Day" CD/LP/Track Review Disappearing Day
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 21, 2016
Read "Leaving Everything Behind" CD/LP/Track Review Leaving Everything Behind
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 5, 2016
Read "East West Time Line" CD/LP/Track Review East West Time Line
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 10, 2017
Read "Back To Your Heart" CD/LP/Track Review Back To Your Heart
by Jeff Winbush
Published: January 13, 2017

Smart Advertising!

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