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Dimensions - A Compendium of the Pablo Years

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Album Review

Just in case anybody has forgotten or needs to catch up with their very first dose, Oscar Peterson is one of the greatest pianists in all of straight-ahead jazz. For heart, soul, and dexterity, for imagination, facility, and finesse, you're not going to do much better than this. The very act of listening is really a groove study in electromagnetic conduction. Something inside of the beholder is likely to change. You might feel it in your legs, the nape of your neck, or up and down the glockenspiel of the rib cage as your spine causes the rest of the body to gyrate almost involuntarily. Almost any band involving Oscar Peterson creates a musical current that resonates in the marrows of performers and listeners alike. And there's always been so much of it! In light of the fact that Norman Granz put out more Oscar Peterson records than most people have been able to digest, the present anthology will enable both seasoned fans and those who aren't sufficiently hip to him to stretch out with a massive but approachable stack of Peterson's coolest and hottest sides. The first of four discs outlines the initial triumph of the Trio. Disc two is dedicated to the Art of the Duet. Disc three charts a tour of the world while tracing an anatomy of the pianist's progress through a series of jams over the span of 13 years. Disc four is a bit like having nine desserts after 37 entrees. And why not? Sometimes pigging out makes perfect sense. This mammoth career retrospective is a heartwarming affirmation of Oscar Peterson's gifts and messages. It could easily lead to a heightened awareness of how jazz, that substantial music of great power and depth, never ceases to recharge the sensibilities of any listener willing to surrender for a while to those spirits of inspiration that Federico Garcia Lorca called the angel, the duende, and the muse. All three forces are at work here. A healthy response would be to feel humbled by the generosity of all these artists who came together to make so much great music for the people to return to time after time.


Born: 15 August 1925 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Oscar Peterson was one of the greatest piano players of all time. A pianist with phenomenal technique on the level of his idol, Art Tatum, Peterson's speed, dexterity, and ability to swing at any tempo were amazing. Very effective in small groups, jam sessions, and in accompanying singers, O.P. was at his absolute best when performing unaccompanied solos. His original style did not fall into any specific idiom. Like Erroll Garner and George Shearing, Peterson's distinctive playing formed during the...
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