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Dustin LindenSmith

father | musician | writer

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ulisten.net podcast #4: Oscar Peterson Trio - 'C' Jam Blues

Oscar Peterson CD - Night Train

ulisten.net podcast #4 (download MP3)

After the high energy of last week's podcast, I'm gonna cool things down a bit with a track from my own heritage, Canadian jazz piano giant Oscar Peterson in his classic trio with Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen. This track is a straight ahead Blues in the Key of C, but there ain't nothing but pure fatback sizzle on this piece of meat. The tempo, a grinding medium 4/4 at about 100 BPM, cooks along beautifully. The interplay between the bass and the drums is legendary in this group: Brown and Thigpen play as though governed by a single rhythmic brain. I've never heard this track and not wanted to get up out of my seat, it swings so hard. In the last two choruses of Peterson's solo, the tune hits a tremendous climax.

And Oscar, well... Oscar is just Oscar here, owning the blues with every perfect, soulful note he lays down in that solo. Pay particular attention to how untellably solid his time is in the solo breaks. You could set your watch by Oscar's phrasing -- it's always buttoned up tight into the pocket and he just swings like there's no tomorrow on every note that he plays.

This track comes from the classic Oscar Peterson Trio album on Verve called Night Train, which was recorded in Los Angeles in 1962. I expect the boys were well rested from a few days in the sun before they entered the studio with Norman Granz to record this album. It became a sure hit, and it remains at least the first Oscar Peterson album that every person in the world should own.

Artist Name: The Oscar Peterson Trio
Album Title: Night Train
Release Date: 1962
Personnel: Oscar Peterson, piano; Ray Brown, acoustic bass; Ed Thigpen, drums.

Buy the recording at: cd universe | amazon.com | amazon.ca | itunes | froogle | google

(posted here to ulisten.net)