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The Oscar Peterson Trio at the Stratford Shakespearean Festival Live

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Audio CD, Live, April 20, 1993
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The Oscar Peterson Trio at the Stratford Shakespearean Festival + The Trio: Live From Chicago (2 CD)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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Here's a jazz trio par excellence, making full use in 1956 of the setting's possibilities of airtight collaboration and shifting emphasis. Oscar Peterson and his classic trio-mates, Herb Ellis on guitar and Ray Brown on bass, heading straight at a lively selection, never hint that they might have liked a drummer along. The model, of course, is Nat King Cole's drumless trio, but Peterson also had been inspired by the rococo and rapid fire of Art Tatum. With breathtaking, huge-handed technique, he unerringly swings deep and high, with a profound sense of rootedness. Ellis and Brown never slouch. Ellis takes a star turn on "How About You?" while on "Swinging on a Star," Brown displays his own mastery and panache. --Peter Monaghan

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. Falling In Love With Love 6:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. How About You 5:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Flamingo 4:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Swinging On A Star 5:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Noreen's Nocturne 5:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Gypsy In My Soul 6:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Nuages 5:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. How High Is The Moon 9:44Album Only
  9. Love You Madly 8:01Album Only
10. 52nd Street Theme (Album Version) 4:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Daisy's Dream13:26Album Only

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 20, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Verve
  • ASIN: B0000046LP
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,245 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Caponsacchi HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 18, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've just read the results of the 50th Annual Downbeat Critics' Poll and can scarce believe my eyes. Not only no mention of Oscar (let alone consummate contemporaries like Ahmad Jamal, Monty Alexander, and Dave Brubeck) but of his brightest proteges (Benny Green, Geof Keezer, David Hazeltine). Apparently the elitist members of the "church of what's happening now" who call themselves "critics" cannot distinguish between true originality and mere difference, between authentic invention and pretentious creativity.
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.
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Format: Audio CD
"I have never felt more relaxed and at ease at a recording session than I have at this one, and I feel that it shows in my playing. I hope that on hearing this album, the listeners agree with me." ~ Oscar Peterson ~

"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.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Stephen M. Amy on July 4, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I can't believe no one has reviewed this! Along with "At the Concertgebauw", it is one of the two classic Peterson-Brown-Ellis live recordings. Delicacy and rich harmonic invention on "Flamingo". Infectious, toe-tapping swing of "Falling in Love with Love". And the gut-wrenching intensities of "Love You Madly"! But all the tunes swing, rock, or are sensitive (sometimes, all three)! Buy it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S J Buck on July 9, 2007
Format: Audio CD
This is the best recording of Oscar Petersons first great trio. Herb Ellis is on Guitar and Ray Brown bass. In the mold of the Nat King Cole trio this is a drummerless trio and all the better for it. The interplay between the musicians is simply amazing and if when you listen to a track like "52nd Street Theme" you don't appreciate whats going on then its obvious Jazz isn't your thing. There are breakneck unison lines played by Piano and Guitar and quite how Ray Brown kept the bass going at that tempo is simply unbelievable.

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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By George M. Lady on October 2, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Is it really possible for an album to be "best?" Maybe not, but if so, the Peterson Trio at the Stratford Festival is a good candidate for such. The performance was in 1956 and I bought the ablum while still in high school. I wore out several LP's and now have several CD's, just in case one gets lost or damaged. Peterson must stand as the premier pianist of his time, rivaled (and on some days surpased) only by Erroll Garner. If there is such a person as the best base player ever, it could well be Ray Brown. Herb Ellis nicely fills out the trio and has a major role in maintaining the driving style of this small, drumless group.

This is a must buy for anyone with any ambition to collect jazz.
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The Oscar Peterson Trio at the Stratford Shakespearean Festival
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