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Verve Jazz Masters, Vol. 16: Oscar Peterson

Oscar Peterson

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Album Review

Vol. 16 of the Verve Jazz Masters series features pianist Oscar Peterson, who recorded prolifically for them from his start in the early '50s up to the early '70s. A single CD could never do Peterson justice, but this one, featuring 15 solid tracks, is evenly balanced between trio and guitar-accented small ensembles, with three big-band tracks added in. The hottest numbers are "Woody 'n You," his original (one of only three of his compositions) "Evrev," and "The Honeydripper." The jazz orchestras nearly consume Peterson during "West Coast Blues," "O.P.," and the stringy "Someday My Prince Will Come." No matter; it's the brilliant voice that listeners admire and are awed by that always shines through, and even though his discography for Verve is gigantic, this remains a good place to start, especially for the student or novice to Peterson's genius. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

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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