This 18-track selection of Oscar Peterson's work was assembled to coincide with the great pianist's autobiography. Centering on his most creative period, from 1950-1970, this compilation focuses intently on the years Peterson spent playing with Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz, Billie Holiday, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Roy Eldridge, Sweets Edison, and Max Roach, as well as establishing himself as a bandleader and soloist. Tracks such as "My Romance," "Get Happy," "Blue Moon," and "Pennies from Heaven'' are standards in Peterson's repertoire and showcase his sprightly, often dizzying right-hand machinations and his complex, often frighteningly difficult conception of harmonic architecture. In his fine swinging style, his read of "I Only Have Eyes for You," with Fitzgerald, is one of the true hallmarks of piano and vocal jazz. This is a fine place to start for anyone interested in discovering Peterson's contribution to the historical jazz canon.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek