Roy Eldridge, Sonny Stitt and Jo Jones at Newport

Oscar Peterson

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Roy Eldridge, Sonny Stitt and Jo Jones at Newport Review

by Ken Dryden

The Oscar Peterson Trio, with guitarist Herb Ellis and bassist Ray Brown, is the primary focus of this live set from the 1957 Newport Jazz Festival. Peterson, with his usual strong chops on piano, starts with a flourish with a furious take of "Will You Still Be Mine," followed by a warm tribute to trumpeter Clifford Brown (who had died in a car wreck at the age of 25 only the previous year) in the form of a somewhat laid-back interpretation of Brown's already popular "Joy Spring." The trio's lively arrangement of the obscure pop song "Gal in Calico" centers around Brown's amusing solo. The turbo-charged performance of "52nd Street Theme" is absolutely breathtaking. Saxophonist Sonny Stitt, trumpeter Roy Eldridge, and drummer Jo Jones are added for the remainder of the set, culminating with a blazing finale, "Roy's Son," which is a reworking of the changes to "I Got Rhythm." Last reissued as a Verve LP in 1973, this long unavailable recording is well worth acquiring.

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