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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.

Customer Reviews

Soul Espanol (Brazilian Jazz)

20 years ago my Uncle bought me a cassette of this album, Soul Espanol, Oscar Peterson. He wanted to educate me about "real" jazz as he put it, because at the time I had only been exposed to what would be described as new age jazz. I learned to listen to and love Oscar, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Louie Armstrong, etc.

Now my Uncle is in his 80's and my original cassette is in bad shape, so I purchased this album again via iTunes and burned it to a disk to share with him. This gives new meaning to "regifting."

Oscar Peterson's music is beautiful and inspiring.


This album is one of the many great, yet unknown albums Oscar Peterson has. Don't be unaware of this one! 5 out of 5

Mistitled, but great

Soul Espanol, as well as the photo of a matador(ish) woman on the cover are sorely mistaken. Of course, this music is an example of samba/bossa nova, which comes from Brazil. In Brazil, they do not speak Spanish, but rather Portuguese. Whoever the advertising exec was who came up with the title needs to have a lesson in basic geography. Interesting to note that Oscar is such a great swinger that he can't help but play this even-8ths groove with a swing feel, which kind of undercuts the whole samba concept. But usual great Oscar chord voicings and ideas, effervescent as always.


Born: August 15, 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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