Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Oscar Peterson Trio...Night Train...1962 Verve Classic

This 1962 recording represents Oscar Peterson at his most commercially accommodating, yet his trio with Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen never fails to swing. The program includes such familiar melodies as the title track (which began life as Duke Ellington's "Happy Go Lucky Local"), "Georgia on My Mind," and "The Honeydripper." With the notable exception of the gospel-like original "Hymn to Freedom," most of the tracks clock in at around three minutes. This reissue contains several alternate takes that were left off the original LP, including such unlikely jazz vehicles as "Volare" and "My Heart Belongs to Daddy." --Rick Mitchell (Amazon review)

1. Happy-Go-Lucky Local (AKA 'Night Train')
2. C-Jam Blues
3. Georgia On My Mind
4. Bags' Groove
5. Moten Swing
6. Easy Does It
7. The Honeydripper
8. Things Ain't What They Used To Be
9. I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)
10. Band Call
11. Hymn To Freedom
12. Happy-Go-Lucky Local (AKA 'Night Train') (Alternate Take)
13. Volare
14. My Heart Belongs To Daddy
15. Moten Swing (Rehearsal Take)
16. Now's The Time
17. This Could Be The Start Of Something

One of the greatest jazz pianists of all time, Oscar Peterson (Birthname: Oscar Emmanuel Peterson, Born: Aug 15 1925,Died: Dec 23 2007) was also quite possibly the most prolific. Ever since 1950, Peterson recorded an enormous amount of music, and consistently amazed listeners with his brilliant playing.

The Oscar Peterson Trio with Ray Brown and guitarist Herb Ellis worked, toured, and recorded prolifically during 1953-1958, not just as a separate unit but behind major soloists (including Louis Armstrong and Lester Young) and at JATP concerts. Peterson, who had an early hit with his version of "Tenderly," became one of the most popular and famous of all jazz musicians. His success continued unabated when Ellis left the group and was succeeded by drummer Ed Thigpen. Unlike most jazz musicians by the 1960s, Oscar Peterson (like Dave Brubeck, Erroll Garner, and George Shearing) was known to the general public.

The Peterson-Brown-Thigpen lineup stayed together until 1965, with Brown and Thigpen's spots eventually taken over by bassists Sam Jones and George Mraz, and drummers Louis Hayes, Bobby Durham, and Ray Price.