Most helpful positive review
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Vintage Oscar and the classy songbooks
on 24 April 2009
The new (May 2012) 3 CD set is a great release bringing together the early and late 1950s sessions. These are transfers from disc and the quality is very good indeed. Price wise a good deal. Liner notes and packaging for the 3 CD set excellent and slimpack format attractive. Not Now have done us proud again and now have a superb catalogue of classic jazz.
This set brings together 6 song books and that is 2 each for Cole Porter; Duke Ellington and The Gershwin's. The time scale covers 1951 at the earliest and 1959 at the latest with albums originally released on the Mercury and Verve labels. All the sessions are produced by Norman Granz and recorded in either Los Angeles or Chicago.
Each collection are presented here has a total of 24 compositions many of which are immediately recognisable as the best of the 20th Century song book. In each case it does not take longer than seconds to hear the wonderful phrasing that Oscar Peterson adds to each number. Given that there are 72 tracks you would expect there to be exceptional performances and there are and for me it is the combination of a tight knit group of musicians that produce the goods.
2 CD earlier set from Not Now Music...
The songbooks have always been popular and were a defining period in the career of Oscar Peterson. The 2 CD set offers The Duke Ellington; Jerome Kern; Count Basie and Harry Warren & Vincent Youmans Songbooks with recording dates 1952 to 1956.
Again, these are record to CD transfers that have been digitally remastered and what you get for the price is amazing. All originally produced by Norman Granz the sidesmen include Ray Brown, bass on all songbooks, Barney Kessell, guitar and Buddy Rich, drums.
You could buy each one of these songbooks but with 4 on offer here I'd replace your old albums with this set.
Many of the performances are definitive and with so much to listen to it is genuinely hard to say which is my favourite but if pressed I'd say "The Jerome Kern Songbook" for the fine composition and playing.
Sleeve notes by Peter Gamble and the re-issue produced by Glenn Gretlund for Not Now Music.
Look out also for Everybody Digs Bill Evans on NOT2CD299.