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Soul Español

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Album Review

Oscar Peterson augmented his regular working trio of the time (bassist Sam Jones and drummer Louis Hayes) with Henley Gibson on congas, Marshall Thompson on timbales, and Harold Jones as an added percussionist for this release, which focuses mostly on the music of Brazilian composers (so the title Soul Espanõl is a bit misleading). With the surge of interest in bossa nova and samba, Peterson's interpretations of songs like "Manha de Carnaval," "How Insensitive," "Meditation," and "Samba de Orfeo" have stood up very well against similar jazz recordings of the mid-'60s. Peterson's "Soulville Samba" has a gospel flavor, while his "Sensitive Samba" is more laid-back; Vincent Youmans' decades-old "Carioca" also fit in nicely. This is an enjoyable, if not essential, part of Oscar Peterson's considerable discography.

Biography

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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