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Ultimate Oscar Peterson

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Album Review

Although serious fans and collectors will have little use for the disc, Ultimate Oscar Peterson is a solid collection of 12 highlights from the pianist's Verve recordings as selected by Ray Brown. For the curious neophyte, the disc offers a good overview of Peterson's time at the label, featuring the pianist in a variety of different settings, including combos with Milt Jackson, Herb Ellis, Clark Terry, and Ed Thigpen. Certainly, the disc should be thought of as an introduction, not the final word, but on that level it works very well. Among the featured numbers are "Sometimes I'm Happy," "Love You Madly," "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning," "Blues for Big Scotia," "Mumbles," and "Chicago."


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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Ultimate Oscar Peterson, Oscar Peterson
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