Thursday, August 7, 2014

Oscar Peterson Trio - Olympia & Théâtre des Champs-Elysées (1957-1964)

A number of Oscar Peterson's live broadcasts of French concerts have turned up on various live CDs ; this edition compiles selections from four separate performances between 1957 and 1963 at the Olympia. Because of the somewhat cavernous sound of this venue, the piano is sometimes less prominent than one would hope for, but the music is consistently rewarding. The earliest date features Peterson with Herb Ellis and Ray Brown in a swinging rendition of "The Man I Love" and adds guests Jo Jones and Roy Eldridge (the latter singing the somewhat-tiresome nursery rhyme medley "School Days"), along with violinist Stuff Smith, who enlivens the proceedings considerably with his slashing attack in an up-tempo "Bugle Call Rag." Ellis, who left Peterson in 1958, returns for a guest appearance in the 1960 show, which is highlighted by an explosive "Daahoud," though the sound quality throughout this set is disappointing. Drummer Ed Thigpen takes Ellis' place on the remainder of the disc. The 1961 tracks begin with Peterson's driving arrangement of "On Green Dolphin Street," which is very similar to the one heard on his excellent The Sound of the Trio, while a pulsating interpretation of Duke Ellington's rarely performed "Band Call," Benny Golson's lush ballad "I Remember Clifford," and the swinging waltz "Where Do We Go From Here" also merit praise. The finale of "Satin Doll" (from 1963) is handicapped by a piano that seems to be losing its tuning somewhat. It is difficult to call this an essential CD with so many other titles available by Oscar Peterson, but his longtime fans will definitely want to purchase this French compilation.
Ken Dryden

Source :

Oscar Peterson
Olympia & Champs-Elysées


Cd. 1

1 The Man I Love (Gershwin, Gershwin)  3:54
2 School Days (Cobb, Edwards)  4:36
3 Bugle Call Rag (Meyers, Pettis, Schoebel)  2:51
4 Daahoud (Brown)  7:20
5 Stockholm Sweetnin' (Jones)  5:47
6 Soft Winds (Goodman, Henderson)  6:26
7 After Hours (Hawkins, Parrish)  7:58
8 On Green Dolphin Street (Kaper, Washington)  7:34
9 Band Call (Ellington)  7:17
10 I Remember Clifford (Golson, Hendricks)  8:11
11 Where Do I Go from Here ? (Bock, Harnick)  3:48
12 Satin Doll (Ellington, Mercer, Strayhorn)  6:43


Cd. 2

1 Six and Four (Nelson)  7:58
2 But Not for Me (Gershwin, Gershwin)  3:23
3 Main Stem (Ellington)  4:28
4 I've Got a Crush on You/Little Girl Blue (Gershwin, Gershwin, Hart, Rodgers)  5:35
5 Bonzo Blues (Peterson)  4:59
6 Reunion Blues (Jackson)  5:22
7 Wheatland (Peterson)  7:50
8 Nightingale (Lees, Peterson)  6:35
9 Hymn to Freedom (Peterson)  6:07
10 Yours Is My Heart Alone/Blues for Big Scottia (Herzer, Lehár, Loehner, Peterson)  9:46


[Cd. 1, # 1-3]
Stuff Smith - vl
Roy Eldridge - tp & vc [# 2 only]
Herb Ellis - g
Oscar Peterson - p
Ray Brown - b
Jo Jones - dr
Recorded at the Olympia, Paris ; May 8, 1957
[Cd. 1, # 4-7]
Herb Ellis - g
Oscar Peterson - p
Ray Brown - b
Recorded same place as above ; April 30, 1960
[Cd. 1, # 8-12]
Oscar Peterson - p
Ray Brown - b
Ed Thigpen - dr
Recorded same place as above ; February 28, 1961
[Cd. 2, # 1-5]
Same as above, except
Roy Eldridge - tp, is added [# 2-5]
Recorded same place as above ; March 22, 1963
[Cd. 2, # 6-10]
Same as above
Recorded at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris ; April 25 & 26, 1964

These recordings of the Oscar Peterson Trio in Paris — with special guest Roy Eldridge on four of the selections from the 1963 date — are standard Peterson. The touch is light yet meaty, and the swing of the rhythm section, Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen, is flighty yet in the pocket. The music is enough to carry the listener in a dream state of awe and wonder. Opening the earlier set with "Six and Four" and sliding into "But Not for Me," with Eldridge accompanying and soloing before a total change happens on "Mainstem," is standard Peterson brilliance, and Eldridge is clearly moved to play his level best, lyrical, angular, and full of verve and speed. On the later gig from 1964, Peterson's trio remains the same, but there are no guests and the program is significantly different as the set centers in the key of blues. The band opens with Milt Jackson's "Reunion Blues," with quotes from Benny Golson's "Blues March" and from Billy Strayhorn's Fakebook, before a quick segue into Peterson's own "Wheatland" and "Nightingale," played at a different tempo and featuring a number of rhythmic and tonal shifts by Thigpen, who doesn't stroll so much as punch in his pizzicato. The gig winds up a few tracks later with Peterson's "Blues for Big Scotia," where he pulls out all the arpeggio stops and moves the right hand into overdrive, comping and vamping with a left hand teasing gorgeous augmented ninths and even 11ths out of the interval and playing nearly barrelhouse boogie with the left. This is Peterson at his level best, which is saying plenty.
Thom Jurek

Source :


Melanchthon said...

Chris said...

Thanks Mel I'm keen to hear these live performances

deGallo said...

First link above you must remove the 4 at the end.

Thank you for this unknown to me post. Nice!

david said...

a wonderful post, as always ! thank you.

Albertito Jazz said...

Thanks Mel for another Peterson's work! But first link don't exists... :-(

bosshoss said...

Great post. Thanks!
Sadly first links dead.
Repost, please...

bosshoss said...

Uh. Now I see deGallo's comment.
Wakey, wakey hossie.

Jazzhound said...

scr_Ptrsn_-_36134-1.7z4 : The requested file could not be found. This link gone from Multiup


Jazzhound said...

Thanks I didn't see the comment about removing 4.

lucky5 said...

Great post. Thank you,Mel!

fcapeau said...

Was at the 1964 date ...... Great concert ! Many thanks, Mel.

AmyBRAINS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AmyBRAINS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Luis said...

Corrected link:

The same as above but deleted the last character "4"

AmyBRAINS said...

Many thanks, Melanchton.

Blue Eyes said...

Super post Melanchthon, merci!

Fernando said...

Another Big thanks Melanchthon.