The Oscar Peterson Quartet, No. 1

Oscar Peterson

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The Oscar Peterson Quartet, No. 1 Review

by Ken Dryden

This 1952 studio session is one of a few recordings made during guitarist Barney Kessel's brief tenure working with Oscar Peterson and Ray Brown. Expanded to a quartet for this session by the addition of drummer Alvin Stoller, the group's extended workouts allow for a lot of showmanship, starting with Peterson's rapid-fire "The Astaire Blues," where the pianist's volcanic technique never fails to dazzle. The leader gives Kessel a bit more space in the subdued but swinging renditions of "Stompin' at the Savoy" and "Body and Soul." Brown provides his usual strong pulse, while Stoller's rather light touch is welcome. Although reissued as a Book-of-the-Month Club LP during the '70s, this enjoyable session has been strangely overlooked for reissue on CD.

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