Oscar Peterson, Exclusively For My Friends, MPS

From 2015. Eight CDs housed in a stout box with a chunky 60-page booklet completing the effect the set includes all Peterson’s recordings for the German MPS label and adds a spread of unreleased out-takes. This latter factor is the set’s chief …

Published: 26 Nov 2019. Updated: 4 months.

From 2015. Eight CDs housed in a stout box with a chunky 60-page booklet completing the effect the set includes all Peterson’s recordings for the German MPS label and adds a spread of unreleased out-takes.

This latter factor is the set’s chief interest certainly for collectors augmenting the original release already a prize possession.

Everything’s remastered. Action features Peterson with Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen while the second volume Girl Talk used two bassists on different tracks, Brown and Sam Jones, with again two drummers involved, in this case Bob Durham and Louis Hayes. The Way I Really Play reverts back to trio with Sam Jones and Dob Durham joining OP (as they do on Mellow Mood and Travellin’ On) while My Favourite Instrument is solo piano. The Lost Tapes themselves are a mix of line-ups but while mainly trios there are also solo takes of such well loved standards as ‘Autumn Leaves’ and ‘Misty’.

Tremendously swinging, recorded by label head Han Georg Brunner-Schwer in his living room home studio in great intimate detail Peterson remains an enduring inspiration for a host of mainstream players the world over. And this set will fan the flame of his enduring fascination and influence even more. Reissued with a lot of love and attention to detail.

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Erroll Garner, The Complete Concert By The Sea, Columbia/Legacy

From 2015. This is a beautifully presented large format 3-CD set issued 60 years on from the original concert recorded in Carmel, California. Note the new cover, which features a black model instead of the white model used on the original album. …

Published: 26 Nov 2019. Updated: 5 months.

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From 2015. This is a beautifully presented large format 3-CD set issued 60 years on from the original concert recorded in Carmel, California. Note the new cover, which features a black model instead of the white model used on the original album.

There are lots of unreleased tracks adding to the original release now digitally restored and remastered. Featuring pianist Erroll Garner with bassist Eddie Calhoun and drummer Denzil Best there’s a huge playfulness to the trio and of course a great sweeping romanticism that I suppose speaks much of the heart of jazz of the time and digs deep to the heart of the old school jazz piano trio tradition. Beginning with announcer Jimmy Lyons and the sound of the audience, two previously unreleased tracks ‘Night and Day’ and ‘Spring Is Here’ follow with plenty more unreleased tracks dotted around to come.

The third disc includes a post-concert interview with the trio, again previously unreleased. Above all there’s so much warmth to the performances and sheer beef to the playing – the great sound in places will poke your eye out – the audience responding with delight to ‘I’ll Remember April’ for instance early on, the sheer exuberance of Garner, galloping Oscar Peterson-like at the keys, bass and drums panting to keep up given the sheer lick he takes on some of the faster material drawing you in to the sheer excitement of the whole experience.