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willvann@hotmail.com (Cambridge, UK)

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An Oscar Peterson Christmas
An Oscar Peterson Christmas
Price: £13.20

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cheesy, but the ultimate for swinging christmas tunes..., 28 Nov. 2001
The intention is clear from the start - Oscar and his group (including a very 'Disney' string section) set out to make a gorgeous set of background music for Christmas. However, in that classic Peterson way, you realise that you cannot ignore what is coming out of the speakers - sheer sweet-talking brilliance that cheers up any cold Christmas day. Some people will say that it is meaningless music, and in a sense they are right, but they are missing the point. It is a true conquest of fun.

Somethin' Else
Somethin' Else
Price: £5.74

59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The title says it all, 20 May 2001
This review is from: Somethin' Else (Audio CD)
A stunning album, 'Somethin' Else' was a collaboration between three men - Julian 'Cannonball' Adderley, the credited bandleader; Alfred Lion, the producer and that inescapable great of jazz, Miles Davis. It always seems a bit harsh to Adderley that Miles gets so much more credit for this work than his sideman from 'Kind of Blue' - a much larger photo than the former for example - but then you sit back and realise that, as Musician noted in 1992, this is "...Among the candidates for 'greatest Miles Davis record'...". Miles has such a large role in the recording that you wonder if he is actually bandleader. Fortunately, this is not really important - and soloing from all the players is brilliant, Adderley especially.
You can refer to the liner notes for details of the tracks when you get the album - the bonus track 'Bangoon' is reason enough to buy this re-release. 1958 was a great year for jazz, and 'somethin' else' is right up there with the other great releases of its time.

On The Town
On The Town
Offered by FastMedia "Ships From USA"
Price: £58.85

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Peterson, 20 May 2001
This review is from: On The Town (Audio CD)
It has been a tradition of critics of Oscar to deride his work for being too full of notes and lacking depth. It is just as interesting - if not mind-boggling - that Mozart was dealt exactly the same criticism by an Austrian aristocrat after one of his early concerts. At the end of the day, different jazzmen have different ways of playing their jazz, and whilst it could never be claimed that every note of Peterson's has profundity, it is churlish to ignore his music because of that fact.
This issue is also dealt with in the (alas) badly bound liner notes by Neil Tesser, the upshot of which is, ignore those foolish critics and buy this record - now! It is gorgeous, often happy, always jazzy music and longs to be played until the CD breaks. The technical details don't need to be examined right now, but if you don't know this immensely talented musician, or if you do and you don't own this album, get right in there and swing around to 'Should I?' and all the other great numbers as soon as you can.


15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top-Class Recording by THE musician of the 20th century, 20 May 2001
This review is from: Live-Evil (Audio CD)
From the second that Sivad, the first track on Live Evil, kicks off, it is clear that this is an album of epic proportions. This is a resoundingly critic-defeating testament to Miles' trumpet playing and band leading ability which will always strike the heart of any musical soul.
A particularly interesting feature is the contrast between the short 2 to 5 minute tracks recorded in the columbia studios which are often claustrophobic but always beautiful and the 15 to 25 minute tracks taken from live sessions at the cellar door, washington dc which are live and raw, combining all the different music forms from the blues to hard rock in a brilliant fashion. The producing influence of Teo Macero, who worked with Miles at Columbia for many years is crucial to the success of utilising such a blend.
But the really crucial point of the album is to forget all the producing details and how the music is being made as often as possible, and just soak up the work of the best musician the last century had. A true genius who speaks to all of us as long as we care to listen. And longer.
As Gary Bartz says on the programme notes, 'Thank you, Miles'

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