The Modern Jazz Quartet make a rare appearance on Verve Records in the 50s – splitting half the album here with the classic Oscar Peterson Trio! The live performance was recorded in Chicago, and definitely has the MJQ working in a looser vibe than on some of their late 50s recordings for Atlantic – a bit more open and swinging, in a Verve mode – with some of the bop inspiration that first showed up on their early Prestige recordings – as you'll hear on the cuts "Now's The Time", "Round Midnight", and "D&E Blues". The second half of the record features live material from Oscar Peterson's hip group with Herb Ellis on guitar and Ray Brown on bass – that great drum-less lineup that really lets Oscar take off on piano – on tunes that include "Big Fat Mama", "Should I Love You", "Indiana", and "Elevation".
This is one of the best post-stroke Oscar Peterson sessions in the catalog, thanks in great part to the distinguished company he keeps (Ray Brown and Milt Jackson) and the stimulating atmosphere of the live setting (New York's Blue Note club). Right from the first track, "Ja-Da," you can tell that this is going to be a fun session, as the slippery, swinging, totally interlocked, totally assured way in which these vets react to each other kicks in immediately. Peterson's right hand is fleet, feathery in touch, and bluesy in feel; the left providing just enough punctuation, and at 75, Jackson's bluesy eloquence had not diminished in the least. Ray Brown's time and placement of notes is, as usual, impeccable, and the very talented drummer in his group at the time, Karriem Riggins, provides a swinging kick for the quartet…
Digitally remastered and expanded edition contains the complete classic album Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson which presents Satchmo singing and playing standards that were not part of his usual repertoire. Featuring Oscar Peterson, Herb Ellis, Ray Brown and Louis Bellson. As a bonus, two rare tunes from the same session and an alternate take of 'Let's Fall in Love' only previously available on compilations, and the four Armstrong showcase tunes from the Ella & Louis Again session.
There are at least five Oscar Petersons on display on this comprehensive box set representing his work with the legendary Norman Granz and celebrating his 80th birthday on Aug. 15th, 2005. CDs 1-5 feature Oscars' work interpreting the Great American Songbook where he and Granz "tried to draw more people into jazz." CD 6 contains his first session with Granz as he accompanies Billie Holiday on 16 sides that show his talent as an accompanist. CDs 7-8 capture Oscars' collaboration with 4 tenor sax men: Lester Young, Ben Webster, Stan Getz and Dizzy Gillespie, plus a rare session with Flip Phillips. CDs 9-10 feature the entire 1954 issue from the Jazz At The Philharmonic, including Oscar playing with Lester Young, Bill Harris and Ray Brown.