I'm a huge Oscar Peterson fan, as well as his collaborations with Niels-Henning Ørsted Pederson on bass. This performance will get your blood flowing and your feet tapping. "The Trio" is one of the two best of Peterson's albums in my opinion. I listen to it over and over without tiring of their energy and technical skills. A must for your Peterson and/or Pederson collection. "The Trio" is jazz at its finest.
The coming together of Msr. Peterson, Pass, and Pedersen is as good as it gets. Their individual abilities blend well. Each has reached a high performance level -- they are arguably the best at what they do. They impart great creativity in their ensemble playing as well as their solos. They come from the same place: the Great American Song Book... with emphasis on "The Blues" Their music is: joyful, reverent, pleasant, flawless, and without peer. I enjoy it often and regularly.
The combination of Peterson, Pass and Pedersen is potent when it comes to music. This is one of the strongest drummerless Peterson trios since Ray Brown and Herb Ellis were members, and the sound samples on this page convey just that.
One of the things that give this particular live performance synergy is Joe Pass is uncharacteristically aggressive in his playing. Most of the recordings I own featuring him showcase an introspective approach to playing. His usual mode is to use his virtuoso chops and inventive mind to craft laid back, musically beautiful lines. Here is is on fire.
Part of the magic is also due to Oscar Peterson's pyrotechnics, and Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen's own virtuosity on bass that matches Oscar's every note. Again, the sound samples will give you a glimpse of what I am trying to describe, but there is nothing like listening to the entire album.
One other point: this is a fairly short album, even by 1973 standards when it was recorded. It clocks in at slightly less than thirty eight and a half minutes. However, each track is so intensely performed that it seems a lot longer.
The fact that this is live is clearly evident in the crown noise and interaction. That adds to the ambiance of the music on one hand, but there are moments when I wish they would shut up and enjoy the extraordinary performance.
This was recorded live for the Pablo label at the London House in Chicago on May 16 through 19, 1973. There was another track recorded during this period (Reunion Blues) that was used in an album titled Oscar Peterson - History Of An Artist, Vol. 2, and there were other tracks during May performances of the trio at the venue that were released as The Good Life.
After spending nine solid years with the once-successful German MP3 label, Oscar Peterson switched to Pablo in 1973, a small label set up by the great jazz impresario Norman Granz that gave some jazz legends another successful shot in the music business, where his start with Pablo began with this time-honoured masterwork from 1974. Containing mostly blues material, The Trio became part of Oscar’s best vintage and most effective partnership around the time, officially described by his fans, as the trio line-up consists of jazz guitarist Joe Pass (who hit the jazz charts in 1974 with his next masterpiece Virtuoso, his first for Pablo) and Denmark’s own Niels-Henning Orsted-Pederson as they showcase a gifted special trio performance done with skill and grandeur. By showcasing its robust combination of stride piano stylings and the blues, the exclusive track set begin with his original classic Blues Etude, as it proceed well on a set of compositions and classic standards like Chicago Blues and Easy Listening, as well as stirring takes of classic standards like Duke Ellington’s Come Sunday and Secret Love. What makes The Trio such an award-winning success is how the brilliant piano maestro showcases several jazz styles (notably on Blues Etude) as he perform exciting versions on the album (Oscar also tears into his slick version of Secret Love and shows honest emotion on Come Sunday), which we hear him flourish with world class artistry and timeless merit as this trio masterwork truly remains as fresh and evocative as ever. Note: Bonus tracks for The Trio should include Wave and For Count, which come from The Good Life (1984) and was part of the same recording session for The Trio, in which the two bonus tracks should finally be part of this edition.
Oscar Peterson long considered this album to be among his finest achievements.It is not difficult to see,or rather hear why. There are not enough superlatives in a library full of dictionaries to adequately described Peterson s playing on "Blues Etude".The vitality and speed of his execution can easily obscure the meticulous clarity of his technique and the intertwining roots of jazz piano history which continually manifest themselves. The magnificent "Chicago Blues" and "Easy Listening Blues" are soaked in the emotions,passions and folklore of this musical and social culture and they also make a mockery of so much music which masquerades as "the blues". Pass plays an oblique tribute to the blues with an erudite and sensitive rendition of "Come Sunday".This piece was composed by Duke Ellingtonas part of his monumental "Black,Brown and Beige Suite" in which he portrays early black history in America. The trio sign off with a bright and sparkling exposition of "Secret Love",once again Pass alludes to the blues with his riffs and hints of earthiness. Pass and Pedersen are superb and this group went on to reach ever greater heights.Despite the collective brilliance of the trio on this night in Chicago,this is,beyond ANY doubt,Peterson s album.
People criticise Oscar Peterson. They say he is predictable. They say he over-plays. They say he is not 'a real jazz pianist'.
Peterson has been my favourite musican for quite some time now, and I have listened to a hell of a lot of his music, effectively gaining an insight into his whole career through the 50+ albums I've bought. The reason I got into him began with this album, which was played to me shortly after his death. Recently my opinion started to change. Listening to all the other fantastic jazz musicians out there, I began seeing where people where coming from. Oscar does at times seem a bit one-dimensional and reliant on going through the motions of playing his selection of runs and licks. Maybe he does belong in a lower category than the likes of John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Miles Davis?
However, a ew days ago I listened to 'The Trio' again...and now my opinion has firmly changed. Listen to Blues Etude. Listen to Chicago Blues. Listen to Easy Listening Blues. Oscar Peterson is the greatest man ever to sit at the piano. His performance on the whole album (and these three tracks expecially) is undoubtedly the most incredible jazz I have ever heard. He owns that keyboard. And he owns his title of the greatest jazz pianist ever to have lived.
Buy this album. Oscar Peterson will blow...you...away.