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Oscar Peterson Trio with Herb Ellis and Ray Brown: Vancouver 1958


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Oscar Peterson Trio with Herb Ellis and Ray Brown: Vancouver 1958
This iteration of the Oscar Peterson Trio, with guitarist Herb Ellis and bassist Ray Brown, had been together for five years at the time of this recording, but it was reaching its expiration date. Following appearances at The Vancouver Jazz Festival on August 4 and 8, 1958, there was only one further instance of the trio recording together that year, and that was for KABC-TV Stars of Jazz on August 18,1958 after which Herb Ellis left the band. The principals did reassemble for a couple of one-off trio recordings in subsequent years, but this was the end of their time as a working group.

In 2002, Just A Memory Records (part of Justin Time Records) released a CD of the August 8th trio concert at the Orpheum Theatre, entitled Tenderly. A year later, the same record company released the August 4th concert on CD with more or less the same title as the current release. While the track listings may be the same, the product is completely different. This album is a 2LP 45RPM recording which has been completely remastered for vinyl by Adam Popowitz. As the needle drops down and is embraced by the vinyl, the sound emanating from the speakers transports the listener to the Orpheum Theatre for the opening notes of the Morgan Lewis & Nancy Hamilton classic "How High The Moon." In this mid-tempo swinger, Peterson establishes the groove which is a frame for the solo bass work of Ray Brown. In his extended two-chorus solo, Brown demonstrates his excellent taste and deep tone, as he navigates his way up and down the bass strings.

Next up are two compositions from the legendary trumpeter Clifford Brown, "Joy Spring" and "Daahoud," which offer an interesting contrast in the trio's musical wares. In the former, Peterson stays close to the melody with a loping tempo while Ellis and Brown show their seamless integration into the theme. On the latter, Peterson demonstrates his pianistic command and speed as he delivers a blur of notes up and down the keyboard. Herb Ellis also has a solo spot on which he takes full advantage to show that he is not only talented with complete control of his instrument, but can also be inventive regardless of the tempo.

The concert continues with a composition from John Lewis entitled "The Golden Striker." In this full throttle version of the number, the ensemble was fully integrated in its approach to the theme and they carved out the various independent instrumental combinations and solos within the group. Their linear suppleness was on full display with this rendition. The final track is an Oscar Peterson original "The Music Box Suite "(aka "Daisy's Dream"). This appealing and touching number was probably named for Peterson's sister Daisy, who was his initial music teacher. In three discernible sections, the chart opens with a fugue-like section with Brown doing some arco bowing. Peterson then dives in with some impressionistic and Mozart-like figures, before the trio launches into a blistering up-tempo section. The out chorus returns to the opening statement one last time.

Finally, this version of the Oscar Peterson Trio, which would end shortly after, had all the hallmarks and could play things such as solos, arrangements, interplay and groove more impressively than any of the other contemporary trios which fell into this category.

Track Listing

Side A: How High The Moon; We'll Be Together Again Side B: Joy Spring; Daahoud Side C: I Like To Recognize The Tune; The Golden Striker; Patricia Side D: Pogo; The Music Box Suite (aka Daisy's Dream)


Herb Ellis
Ray Brown
bass, acoustic

Album information

Title: Vancouver 1958 | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Justin Time Essential Collection



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