Oscar Peterson

Compact Jazz: Oscar Peterson

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Taken from sessions for the Mercury label co-opted by Verve, this 11-tune set has pianist Oscar Peterson in exclusively small-group settings, mostly trios. Trumpeter Clark Terry joins in for the Peterson original "Roundalay" and a spirited "Mack the Knife." There's one other O.P. composition, the pensive "Wheatland," with the rest being a solid fare of standards, ballads, and blues. You expect Peterson to cut loose once in a while, and he does on a rip-roaring take of "If I Were a Bell." A compacted slice of his huge discography for sure -- there are larger collections from this mid-'60s time frame, and better single albums -- but these are good picks during what was a fruitful period for the great Canadian jazzman.

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