Oscar Peterson

Verve Jazz Masters 16

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Vol. 16 of the Verve Jazz Masters series features pianist Oscar Peterson, who recorded prolifically for them from his start in the early '50s up to the early '70s. A single CD could never do Peterson justice, but this one, featuring 15 solid tracks, is evenly balanced between trio and guitar-accented small ensembles, with three big-band tracks added in. The hottest numbers are "Woody 'n You," his original (one of only three of his compositions) "Evrev," and "The Honeydripper." The jazz orchestras nearly consume Peterson during "West Coast Blues," "O.P.," and the stringy "Someday My Prince Will Come." No matter; it's the brilliant voice that listeners admire and are awed by that always shines through, and even though his discography for Verve is gigantic, this remains a good place to start, especially for the student or novice to Peterson's genius.

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