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The Oscar Peterson Trio at the Stratford Shakespearean Festival Live
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Oscar is a true original, a pianist who has attained classic status through his mastery of the formidable--even overwhelming and frightening--heritage and language of his predecessors. "Creativity" can easily become a ruse--the self-deceptions of a sequestered new-age mentality rather than the re-inventions that are the hallmark of artistic genius. The genuinely creative artist requires no tricks or cover-ups--his gift is always on full display.
Oscar's genius is no more apparent than on the "At Stratford" and "At the Concertgebouw" albums. The former has a slight edge in audio fidelity and program variety, as Oscar's crescendoing power playing on slow tempos clearly comes through on "Blues for Big Scotia" and his more delicate sensibilities are in evidence on his own "Noreen's Nocturne." The latter album, on the other hand, is the more breathtaking, a pyrotechnical work-out on standards and bebop classics that amounts to an exhausting experience for any listener. Either album represents an awesome legacy, a reason to run for cover. Possession of both albums is not recommended for the faint of heart.
"This is a hit, a very palpable hit that will forever fit the dream concert given at the Shakespearean Festival one midsummer night in 1956." ~ James Isaacs ~
On August 8, 1956, fifty-one years ago today - August 8, 2007, Norman Granz of Verve Records, whom Oscar Peterson admired as a person for his bravery, recorded a live concert by the genius of jazz piano Oscar Peterson, guitarist Herb Ellis and bassist Ray Brown, collectively known as The Oscar Peterson Trio given at the Stratford Shakespearean Festival in Ontario, Canada. As always, the trio impressed the enthusiastic audiences with their gleaming and engaging numbers. The album was released on the same year and in 1993, it was digitally remastered and restored to a CD format. According to commentator Alan Zappert in Jazz On Record 1917-1967, "the original LP was the group's finest, a live performance often seeming to bring out the trio's creative best."
Out of the 11 tracks, two are previously unreleased and these are Django Reinhardt's "Nuages" and an original composition by Peterson as a tribute to his sister, "Daisy's Dream." Also an original tune is "Noreen's Nocturne," a piece that showcases Mr. Peterson's composing skills.
The trio gives a very impressive and delightful interplay with harmonic groove that makes all their performances stand out. Peterson's pianistic command is all what it takes to make this album one of the finest jazz recordings of all-time.Read more ›
As the title indicates this is a live recording and so there is also a great atmosphere. You can you hear this most clearly on the brilliant "Love You Madly" where the crowd react to Petersons tumultuous playing and the fact that you can hear him growling away to himself, which at one point makes the crowd laugh!
This is a wonderful album, and certainly in my top ten Peterson albums.
This is a must buy for anyone with any ambition to collect jazz.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
1956 recording but outstanding music. Mine got lost in a move and I HAD to replace it.Published 5 months ago by John D. Whelan
Any Oscar Peterson recording is going to be exciting. But this one - capturing his trio live - is especially so. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Ned Mast
Just as The Oscar Peterson Trio was hailed as one of the biggest star attractions
in the world of jazz in the 1950’s, they again scored another blockbuster masterpiece... Read more
the live recording is highly deficient and quite frankly annoying ...i didn't paticularly like hearing mr. peterson unsual groans as he plays along .. Read morePublished on April 25, 2013 by math_guy51
Purchased as a Christmas gift for our son. He advised it is a great CD and enjoying it very much.Published on January 30, 2013 by Ed
I've listened to this recording for over 40 years and never get tired of it. A classic Peterson recording with great guitar and bass also.Published on January 9, 2013 by Gene Herritz
I'm a huge Ray Brown fan and this could very well be his best ever performance. Herb Ellis is absolutely smokin' on this recording and the ever-amazing Oscar Peterson rounds out... Read morePublished on December 29, 2012 by Greg
In 1956, I was 17 when I bought the original LP; and I did so only because Downbeat Magazine's review demanded it. Read morePublished on June 13, 2009 by BebopGrandpop