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 90 Going On Amazing CD/LP/Track Review 90 Going On Amazing
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter CD/LP/Track Review Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: August 21, 2017
Read L.O.T.U.S. CD/LP/Track Review L.O.T.U.S.
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Art in the Age of Automation CD/LP/Track Review Art in the Age of Automation
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Screen Sounds CD/LP/Track Review Screen Sounds
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Rediscovered Ellington CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 20, 2017
Read "Triloka: Music for Strings and Soloists" CD/LP/Track Review Triloka: Music for Strings and Soloists
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 16, 2017
Read "Sing Me Some Cry" CD/LP/Track Review Sing Me Some Cry
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 20, 2017
Read "Kansas City Here I Come" CD/LP/Track Review Kansas City Here I Come
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: February 10, 2017
Read "Night Music" CD/LP/Track Review Night Music
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 4, 2016
Read "Bright Side" CD/LP/Track Review Bright Side
by David A. Orthmann
Published: October 31, 2016
Read "Concert Of The Century" CD/LP/Track Review Concert Of The Century
by Mark E. Gallo
Published: August 10, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.