Verve-UMG releases a re-mastered vinyl of a great jazz trio.
The Oscar Peterson Trio – We Get Requests – Verve Records V6-8606 (1965)/Verve/Universal Music Group B0033797-01 (2022) 180-gram stereo vinyl, 39:42 ****1/2:
(Oscar Peterson – piano; Ray Brown – double bass; Ed Thigpen – drums)
With nearly 200 recordings and seven Grammys, jazz pianist Oscar Peterson was among the elite. Along the way he earned nicknames like “Maharajah Of The Keyboards”, “The King Of Inside Swing” and simply “O.P.” to his friends. With virtuosic technique, Peterson’s concert and studio career spanned 6 decades, inspired by jazz, classical and popular music influences. His collaborations in duets, trios and quartets were a vital aspect to his musical legacy. At the core of his gravitas was his ability to interpret and re-invent standards.
Verve/UMG has released a re-mastered 180-gram vinyl of We Get Requests – The Oscar Peterson Trio. Ten songs comprised mostly of standards (with one original composition) are interpreted by this trio (Peterson, Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen). Side One opens with a lively cover of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s gorgeous tune, “Quiet Night Of Quiet Stars (Corcovado)”. Peterson sprightly notation is set against Brown’s creative double bass lines and steady brush work by Thigpen. Next up is another uptempo cover, Henry Mancini’s “Days Of Wine And Roses”. Peterson is both rhythmic and emotional, transforming a pop song into a jazz statement. Brown’s descending bass is ear-catching. “My One And Only Love” has been recorded over the years by mainstream singers (Frank Sinatra) and jazz artists (John Coltrane). Peterson demonstrates that he is equally adept at ballads. His tender articulation and chord manipulation are excellent. The arpeggio-infused finish with a classical reference is compelling. “People” (Funny Girl) features Peterson’s up tempo punctuated licks, complemented by Brown’s walking bass. The trio has stellar chemistry. They cover “Have You Met Miss Jones” (Rodgers/Hart) like an atmospheric bluesy piece, but with a sophisticated forceful approach. It has a hypnotic resonance.
The festivities continue on Side Two with “You Look Good To Me”. This arrangement is different from the other tracks. It has a strong classical intro (with Brown on bowed bass). The trio morphs into medium-swing and glides through the number. Embracing another Jobim bossa nova opus (“The Girl From Ipanema”), Peterson distills the swaying elegance, but with very jazzy articulation, never losing the melody. The hushed coda is memorable. In a slight divergence from the populist theme of the album, John Lewis’ (Modern Jazz Quartet) “D. & E.” is shaded in late-night blues. Peterson’s runs are crisp, very soulful. There is a muscular interlude before the repeat of the opening vamp. The trio’s version of violinist Stuff Smith’s “Time And Again” is a quiet reverie that Peterson embraces with delicacy. Brown’s relaxed play and Thigpen’s understated brush work fit perfectly. It seems fitting that the last track is an Oscar Peterson original (“Goodbye J.D.”). This one swings and “O.P.” is frenetic in his delivery. Thigpen gets a solo at the end.
We Get Requests showcases Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen at the top of their game. This 180-gram vinyl update is outstanding. The stereo separation (drums/left; double bass/right and piano center) is definitive and the mix (Ryan Smith/Sterling Sound) is vibrant. This pressing is exemplary with no hisses or pops and minimal surface noise. The glossy gatefold packaging and plastic inner sleeves are high quality.
Side One: Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars (Corcovado); The Days Of Wine And Roses; My One And Only Love; People; Have You Met Miss Jones
Side Two: You Look Good To Me; The Girl From Ipanema; D. & E.; Time And Again; Goodbye J.D.