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Oscar Peterson - Music In The Key Of Oscar [1995] [DVD]

Oscar Peterson    Exempt   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 19.46 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Oscar Peterson - Music In The Key Of Oscar [1995] [DVD] + George Shearing - Lullaby Of Birdland [1991] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Oscar Peterson
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Colour, DVD-Video, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Quantum Leap
  • DVD Release Date: 6 Dec 2004
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002OQRD8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 85,762 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

A double tape pack celebrating forty years of classic jazz from the fingers of piano master Oscar Peterson. Classic and contemporary performances are complimented with contributions from friends, colleagues and contemporaries of the great man. There are also interviews with the man himself on his life and work and the influences on his style.

Product Description

I will ship by EMS or SAL items in stock in Japan. It is approximately 7-14days on delivery date. You wholeheartedly support customers as satisfactory. Thank you for you seeing it.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great documentary 25 Aug 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
For historical reasons alone this is an essential documentary for Jazz fans as it contains interviews with some of the greatest Jazz artists in the history of the music (Ella/Dizzy etc). Even more so in the context of Oscar Peterson, as it contains substantial footage of the last tour he undertook before a stroke took away most of the use of his left hand for the rest of his career. You get full length versions of "Caravan" and "Kelly's Blues" (wrongly titled as "Bag's Groove" on the DVD menu) featuring Oscar, Herb Ellis, Ray Brown and Jeff Hamilton.

The biographical side of Oscar Peterson's life is covered in detail and includes interviews with him, Norman Granz, Herbie Hancock, Quincy Jones, Dudley Moore, Cleo Laine as well as brief historic audio and video footage of Oscar playing at various stages of his career. The documentary runs to 106mins and is in 4:3 ratio and was undoubtedly originally made for TV.

The extras are sadly insubstantial and only consist of a lot of text based information, which these days you can read on-line. Overall though its the best documentary on Oscar Peterson available.
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Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I had the pleasure of seeing Oscar Peterson & his trio a number of times in London.This DVD is a special reminder of how great he was.Accompanied by his trio of great musicians.It was also very interesting the way this was made.I was held watching with great interest for I hour & 40 minutes.I recommend this for splendid viewing.I am grateful to the fact that Amazon had this available.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fine Documentary 10 Sep 2007
By Michael Paull - Published on
I've watched many documentaries on musicians over the years. I've also seen some wonderful concert videos. This DVD definitely falls in the former catagory, and those looking simply for complete concert performances should search elsewhere. That said, I was impressed with how much in the way of complete performances this particular documentary showed (more than most). Oscar Peterson says more than once-and with great enthusiasm-that this classic group of his has reached a real pinnacle in terms of chemistry and challenging interaction, and it shows in the wonderful live clips of classics like "Caravan" and "Bag's Groove", that you see throughout the video. As well, the biographical material is excellent, and though not completely comprehensive, at least presents an overview of the great pianist's life and career that makes me appreciate what he's accomplished so far (even with the stroke he suffered a few years ago, I know he's still out there doing even more). Finally, the "extras" section of the DVD has some terrific stuff, including discography and quotes about the nature of Jazz improvisation and history that make me appreciate the man's intellect and passion as much as his talent.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It holds up even better upon a 2nd viewing. 15 Jan 2010
By Samuel Chell - Published on
[After a 2nd viewing, I'm raising my rating and retracting any complaints about the visuals or content. The audio quality suffers, as stated below, because of a slightly muffled quality and limited treble response-sounding like the 2nd generation of a mediocre master tape. But Oscar's musicianship and his eloquence as a spokesperson for the music simply can't be denied. The film effectively communicates the spirit, the character, the camaraderie of musicians from an era of music preceding the rise and eventual dominance of rock and C&W music in American pop culture beginning in the 1960s. The film presents an equal mix of humor and tragedy--demonstrating the early challenges of racism and, later, the difficulties of reaching a large audience proportionate to the enormous talents responsible for creating music emphasizing, above all, "swing," the jazz tradition (Louis, Duke, Bird, Tatum, Basie, Nat), and "the Great American Songbook." Oscar is always congenial and approachable but also complex, expressing great love toward his musicians and even other piano players, whom he loves and feels no compulsion to "show up"--unless, he parenthetically adds, "they get in my way." Above all, viewers should take seriously Oscar's lavish praise on Norman Granz as the promoter who fearlessly and tirelessly put the music and his musicians first. Jazz, Oscar states, could never have gotten as far as it has without Granz, to whom Oscar gives credit for his own success as well as any enjoyed by the music. (In recent years the "Blue Note story" has grown from a version of jazz history favored by a cultish to an overblown myth overshadowing the authentic story. If jazz was built on the talents of Louis, Duke, Basie, Hawk, Lester, Bird and Dizzy, Ella and Sarah, Oscar and Ray Brown--none of them Blue Note artists or represented on Van Gelder recordings--then Blue Note must be considered no more than a single chapter, possibly a "footnote," in the story of jazz as an American art form, its significance extending far beyond any "hard bop" recording of "Song for My Father" or "The Sidewinder."]

If you're already an Oscar Peterson fan, pick up "Oscar Peterson in Berlin" ahead of this. That's an uninterrupted, well-recorded concert, with all of the emphasis on the phenomenal musician and the music itself. By contrast, "Music in the Key of Oscar" is more "produced" (arguably "over-produced"). It begins with a shot of someone listening to their car radio (a reference to Oscar's discovery in Canada by Jazz at the Philharmonic / Verve Records impresario Norman Granz). We then get some of those "he's the greatest," "he's unreal" testimonials from the likes of Dizzy Gillespie and Quincy Jones, and then we go to a club for an extended work-out on "Caravan." Here's where the movie falters a bit. The backgrounds are not flattering to the musicians (drummer Jeff Hamilton in front of venetian blinds), the camera seems to have little interest in Oscar's fingers, instead giving us head shots of musicians who appear curiously unengaged, and with excessive emphasis on the close-up (practically anatomizing each of them, including Ray Brown and Herb Ellis).

Interviews follow, with the musicians giving testimonies to each other, Oscar especially intent on singling out his first, drummerless trio as "the greatest of all time." Then back to the music--a waltz.

By now, it's clear what the problem with the film is: the audio frequencies are fairly wide, permitting the listener to hear Brown's bass and Hamilton's drums along with Oscar's piano. But the sound is somewhat muffled and "dead," especially disappointing for a recording from circa 1990--and a musical documentary at that!

I only wish there was a video of Oscar at the chateau of Hans Brunner Schwer, where Oscar made some scintillating recordings in the 1960s, with Bobby Durham, the little man of steel, on drums. This documentary might be recommended for the classroom or for the Oscar fan who might be fascinated by some of the early photos of him dating back to the 1940s (and earlier)--the days when Oscar was an enfant terrible and Canadian hepcat. It also takes on the neglected subject of Oscar and race, allowing him to explain his feelings about the patronizing language used to describe him in the early days.

In terms of jazz and race, the film (and Oscar) gives Norman Granz the credit that he so richly deserves (even though I once saw Norman in person--in a rumpled suit, standing next to an inebriated Lester Young--I never had a true idea of his enormous importance to the dissemination of this great American music until many, many years later). It's almost criminal that the music's struggle to gain respect has led to the neglect of indispensable activists such as Granz or, for that matter, Leonard Feather. Oscar says in no uncertain terms that Norman Granz was one of jazz' true heroes, deserving more acclaim than practically anyone.

Other insights and highlights: Miles' and Bill Evans' groups never rehearsed; Ray Brown relates that Oscar rehearsed the trio all the time.

Oscar praising Chief Justice Earl Warren as a civil rights champion (besides, of course, Norman Granz). Dizzy's comments about the struggles of being black. Herb Ellis relating that he chose to stay in the black hotels with Oscar and Ray. Herb then admitting that booze had caused him to go AWOL with Oscar.

Highlights: In the recommended "Oscar in Berlin," it's the first encore taken at blazing speed; in this video it's the mounting tension of a slow blues in G and Oscar's playing the bass line while Ray becomes primary soloist. Norman Granz introducing Nat Cole as the first pianist at JATP in 1944 (I wish he'd mentioned Les Paul at the same time).

The 2nd part of the film focuses primarily on racial-social issues, including jazz and drugs--and, of course, booze.

This movie ultimately is an elegy and a eulogy. It catches a number of legends (if only the public knew as much) at the tail end of their careers and lives, reflecting on the glory that was. The juxtapositions of past and present are, admittedly, occasionally disturbing, reminding us of the passage of time and its disregard of those whose music defies its passage, yet at the same time the journey is wondrous: count yourself one of the lucky ones if you were around to catch any of these giants who once strode the earth, whether early or late.

Now if someone could only fix the audio before any more transfers of this disc are released (also it could profit from minor editing, though eventually the lengthy 2nd half brings the film full circle). My guess is that the distributors lacked the master film footage and were forced to copy a VHS tape onto DVD. Never a good idea, and never worth much than the most minimal charge (unless it's a rare disc--a Caruso recital, for example).

Last but not least, the film's biggest (but forgivable) "lie": Oscar is caught stating that getting old isn't that bad and that if the fingers get a bit stiff or arthritis sets in, he'll "walk away." Not long after the making of this film, Oscar suffered a partially disabling stroke.

He never walked away--at least not from the piano.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest music DVD ever!!! 1 July 2010
By Stu Nichols - Published on
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Oscar Peterson was the greatest jazz pianist ever, and Music in the key of Oscar is
I saw him twice in my life, and was so sad at his passing.
I know that he and his trio are playing somewhere up there.
Stu Nichols
Aspen, CO.
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Elements, Compromisingly Executed 31 Aug 2013
By Rob F - Published on
Great performances, interviews and insights into the world's greatest jazz pianist and the artists with whom he performed, unfortunately put together with middle-school quality almost as if randomly pasted together. Oscar deserved much better. Like another viewer said, read the book, which is a cohesive work. A film about a master should be masterfully made. This was anything but.
10 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting DVD 9 Nov 2004
By Shuman - Published on
As an avid fan of Oscar Peterson, this is a disc that you should buy.

The musical setting is at a nightclub in Chicago and is first class, A+++.

However, the detracting part of the program is the frequently interruption to the flow of the music by commentary on his life.

If you want to know about the life of an artist, buy the book!
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