Producer Norman Granz invited Oscar Peterson and his Trio to record a set of Ellington songs in 1952. Seven years later, they did it again-this time in stereo and with different interpretations and personnel. This CD includes both complete albums-24 tracks including Sophisticated Lady; Cotton Tail; Prelude to a Kiss; Do Nothin' Till You Hear from Me , and more!
This CD combines two LPs devoted to the same Duke Ellington
material recorded by different versions of the Oscar Peterson trio. The first is of particular interest. Dating from 1952, it was a special event, exploiting the then-new LP format to include a dozen of Ellington's most familiar tunes and featuring a superb band. The young Peterson could generate the swing of a big band, while the similarly virtuosic bassist Ray Brown
and guitarist Barney Kessel
complement him brilliantly. Together they combine boppish approaches and inspired interplay (and a kinetic energy that you would never expect from a trio without drums) to staples like "In a Mellow Tone," "Take the 'A' Train," and "Rockin' in Rhythm." The second half of the CD is a 1959 stereo remake of the original 1952 session, but with drummer Ed Thigpen taking Kessel's place. Despite the similarity in the material, it's an utterly different session, typical of the masterful manner that Peterson gradually developed. It's well-made music, played with consummate polish and ease and clear regard for the material, though without the inventive edges of the earlier group. --Stuart Broomer