Oscar Peterson takes it easy during his relaxed set. He had not completely recovered from his stroke but he was still an impressive pianist. Peterson, who is assisted by guitarist Lorne Lofsky, bassist David Young, and drummer Jerry Fuller, is joined by a 20-piece string section arranged and conducted by Rick Wilkins. The 14 holiday tunes (which include "God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman," "White Christmas," "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas") are given tasteful and lightly swinging treatments and there are guest appearances by vibraphonist Dave Samuels and flugelhornist Jack Schantz. But no real surprises or chancestaking occurs and the music is mostly just pleasant.
An Oscar Peterson Christmas Review
by Scott Yanow