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The Essential Oscar Peterson

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Album Review

It's impossible to find a small group of Oscar Peterson's tracks and call them absolute or essential. What the pianist did for the Verve label is too large to pare it down and edit into so brief a collection. These 13 selections give a good overview, and should tempt people just discovering Peterson and provide an incentive to purchase more. Quite a bit of this consists of his extraordinary trio sides, with a few small ensembles and a big-band track included. Almost all of it is energetic save the ballad "Tenderly," and your hear the virtuosic maestro best during "Something's Coming," "March Past," and "Seven Come Eleven." This was a very fruitful period for Peterson before he went to the MPS and Pablo labels, but this CD only scratches a very wide surface. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Customer Reviews


This recording introduced me to Peterson and it is still one of my favorites. If you are looking to begin or complete your jazz collection, be sure to check out this album.


Oscar peterson is the first pianist i ever heard when i was about eight, and ever sice listening to blues for bird i decided i was going to lear how to play jazz piano. He is truly an incredable musician, from slow waltz ballads, to fast and up-beat swing, he can play it all. he is truly an insperation....


this dude is just poppin fresh off the hook you know how he do. i just love this guy he is so money. He was my main man and i loved him


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...
Full Bio