This LP finds pianist Oscar Peterson at a transitional point in his career. Louis Hayes was the new drummer in his trio and, although veteran Ray Brown is on bass during the earlier of the two sessions, by 1966 he would depart after 15 years and be replaced by Sam Jones.
However, the basic sound of the Oscar Peterson Trio remained unchanged (Peterson was the dominant voice anyway) and the personality of the group remained intact. Peterson contributed three originals (including the hard-swinging title cut) to this program and also sounds typically fine on "Let's Fall in Love," "The Shadow of Your Smile," "If I Were a Bell," and a definitive version of "Stella by Starlight."
Let's Fall in Love
The Shadow of Your Smile
If I Were a Bell *
Stella by Starlight *
Bossa Beguine *
L' Impossible *
I Know You Oh So Well *
Oscar Peterson - Piano
Louis Hayes - Drums
Ray Brown - Bass *
Sam Jones - Bass
Recorded 1965 on the Limelight Label and is catalog number LS-86039 Stereo
Oscar Peterson has led, really, three trios (if you except one he had during his formative years in Montreal) in the course of his career. He had a duo that consisted of himself and bassist Ray Brown just before the start of the 1950s. Then came the first trio. It included himself and Ray and a guitarist. The guitarist during most of this period was Herb Ellis. So tight, so integrated, did the group become that when Ellis announced that he was leaving it to settle in Los Angeles, a good many of Peterson's admirers were genuinely concerned. What would Oscar do now?
What he did was to hire drummer Edmund Thigpen. And before long, this new group had become as beautifully cohesive as the previous trio, though its sound was of course utterly different. Oscar played a different way than he had with the predecessor group, inevitably. His playing expanded. This trio persisted for six years. Then Ray Brown too succumbed to the blandishments of California and, like Herb Ellis before him, elected to settle in Los Angeles; And at the same time, Edmund Thigpen decided to strike out on his own as the leader of his own group.
Though all of this was amicable, it came as a melancholy disruption for Oscar. Just at the personal level, it was an unhappy event: he and Ray were (and are) as close as two musiicians could be. They'd been together more than 15 years-an association whose length was unusual, to say the least, in the turbulent world of music. And now he had no rhythm section at all.
The solution to the problem surprised everyone. He hired a rhythm section that had already worked together for more than five years, a rhythm section whose conception and time feeling couldn't have been more different from his old one. He hired the Cannonball Adderley Sextet rhythm section. Bassist Sam Jones and drummer Louis Hayes made the move with Cannonball's encourageement: a rhythm section is more thoroughly exposed to public attention in a trio than in a sextet and he urged them to take the opportunity.
Now the question was how they would fit themselves to Oscar's style of playing, and vice versa. The group went into rehearsal at Oscar's home in Toronto, Canada. Before long Oscar felt ready to expose it, and he took it on the road. Word began to spread within the music world: this was another excellent trio, and a somewhat new Oscar Peterson.
The enclosed LP is the first recording of this new group. Actually the re- cording marks a transitional period in the history of the Oscar Peterson trio, since Ray Brown is heard on some of the tracks and Sam Jones on others .. Louis Hayes is on all of the tracks. What we hear in the tracks with Sam Jones and Louis Hayes is a different Oscar Peterson-fully and obviously related to the old one, to be sure, but playing in a somewhat different way.
All three members of the new trio are masters of the subtle and little stood art of swinging, and they have learned to swing together. Oscar has bent toward them, they have leaned toward him. In the middle ground they have found an area of common conception. And one can hea r Oscar's excitement and sense of discovery in playing with Sam Jones and Louis Hayes.
The group can perhaps be called the Oscar Peterson Trio, Mark III. It is as exciting as its predecessors and, in the expansion of Oscar's own playying that it has produced, it is even more so.
What a great recording. Oscar Peterson never ceases to amaze me. These are thoughtful, rich, beautifully executed songs-especially "Bossa Beguine" and "L'Impossible". At times one may think there is hiss on this recording, nothing could be farther from the truth, when in actual fact it is some of the finest delicate brush work you will hear from Louis Hayes on drums. At times when the drummer does not do brush work on the snare there is an audible decrease in the amount of so called hiss.
This trio was spot on and one of the very tight sessions by Oscar Peterson. This is one of those pure joys that O.P. Trio was noted for.
Vinyl Plays completely, very low surface noise and vinyl is housed in archive protective inner sleeve. Jacket is in great condition, very minor edge wear, no split seams, no bar code.
Check out my other items for deals on vinyl albums on the classified site of Audiogon.
Shipping is $4.95 in the Continental U.S. via USPS Media Mail or $9.95 via USPS Priority Mail.
Ships in USPS approved cardboard LP mailer.