Despite stints with Orchestras and duos Peterson loved the trio format best. Touring the world in the early Sixties with Ray Brown on Double Bass and Ed Thigpen on Drums the band settled in Chicago for a week long Residency, subsequently recording a four LP set of their performances. The two recordings here are considered the cream of the crop consisting of compositions from right across the 20th century along with two of Peterson's own, masterful creations. Originally released on Verve Records in 1961.
Those who consider themselves Oscar Peterson completists should be aware of The London House Sessions, a generous five-LP set that focuses exclusively on the Peterson Trio's 1961 engagement at Chicago's London House. However, completists are the only ones who would want to invest in this collection; others would be better off with individual LPs of the pianist's London House performances. One such LP is the Verve Master Edition of The Sound of the Trio, which was recorded in July 1961 and contains performances of "Tricotism," "On Green Dolphin Street," and "III Wind…
The great swing violinist Stuff Smith had not recorded as a leader since 1945 when producer Norman Granz got him to make three albums for Verve during a three-month period. Smith, who was still very much in his prime, recorded 11 selections (one previously unissued) with pianist Carl Perkins, either Red Callender or Curtis Counce on bass and Oscar Bradley or Frank Butler on drums (Have Violin Will Swing), jammed nine numbers (three released for the first time here) with the Oscar Peterson Trio (for the album titled Stuff Smith), and on five tunes teamed up with trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and a rhythm section (Dizzy Gillespie-Stuff Smith); all are reissued in full on this generous two-CD set from 1994. In each of the settings, the violinist excels, making this an easily recommended and very satisfying release.
Pianist Oscar Peterson made so many recordings for Norman Granz's Pablo label (and was so consistent) that while all of his records are recommended, it is difficult to pick out any one as the definitive or essential release. This two-CD set (a straight reissue of the original two-LP release) features Peterson with an all-star trio, a unit comprised of guitarist Joe Pass and bassist Niels Pedersen. Just 16 days later Peterson would record The London Concert with a different trio. This time around he mostly sticks to standards but includes three songs associated with Benny Goodman (including the riff-filled "Benny's Bugle"), features Pass (who contributed his original "Gentle Tears") unaccompanied on "Lover Man" and really romps with his fellow virtuosoes on such numbers as "Ornithology," "Donna Lee" and "Sweet Georgia Brown."
On Gillespie's second recording for Norman Granz's Pablo label, he joins Oscar Peterson for a set of miraculous duets. Benny Green, who wrote the liner notes for this album, compared this performance of Ellington's classic composition to the Armstrong and Hines rendition of "Weather Bird." Peterson melds a keen sense for complementary accompaniment with dexterous, interweaving polyphonic lines.
For the first time in her career, Blues diva Dana Gillespie releases a live album. After four studio sets for Ace, dating back to 1982's Blue Job, this CD is released in response to the demand by her audiences around the world. Recorded with the London Blues Band in Poole in 2006, the set features the dynamic guitar skills of Dino Baptiste. No fancy studio tweaks are used here. Dana and the Band cut the mustard, with the very highest level of musicianship, spiced up with a lot of fun, to create this straight-ahead record of a fabulous gig from a great singer with a great band.