Oscar Peterson

Live at the Blue Note [Box Set]

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This four-disc box set features the historic reunion of the Oscar Peterson Trio (Peterson, bassist Ray Brown, and guitarist Herb Ellis), who were playing together for all practical purposes for the first time in over 30 years at the Blue Note in March 16-18, 1990. Drummer Bobby Durham -- who had played with Peterson's band from 1967-1970 -- augments the lineup, making this nothing less than a stellar quartet. For the first time, the four albums taped on these nights have been issued together and they include The Legendary Oscar Peterson Trio Live at the Blue Note, Saturday Night at the Blue Note, Last Call at the Blue Note, and Encore at the Blue Note. The box has been specially priced and sells for the price of a two-disc set. Musically speaking, this is Peterson at his peak, and his sidemen, all into their sixties at the time of these dates, just plain shine. These dates were recorded before Peterson's hip replacement surgery or his stroke, unlike the 1993 recordings at the same venue. What shows here is not only experience but swagger, strut, grit, and the finesse only master jazzmen can muster. Whether it's the burning "Honeysuckle Rose," with killer counterpoint between Peterson and Ellis, the understated ostinato in the medley of "Love Ballad/If You Only Knew" that shifts into a shimmering exercise in harmonic extension and rhythmic invention, or in the fresh, insightful, and eye-opening readings of standards such as "Billie's Bounce" or "I Wished on the Moon," the effect is the same: electrifying. In fact, these dates count among Peterson's finest live offerings, and sparkle with inspiration, humor, and stunning soulful vibe. In addition to the music, the sound of the venue and its atmosphere is captured here to stunning, warm effect, making these concerts feel immediate and accessible. Highly recommended.

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