(Review by Lance).
Imagine meeting up with a former girlfriend - someone you loved very much until, as these things happen, you drift apart. Fifty years on you meet up again and, amazingly, she's more beautiful than you remembered (don't spoil it Russell by saying 'You should have went to Specsavers'). I know it's most unlikely visually but audio-wise it's happened here!
The recordings took place over a period of years at GBS' villa in the Black Forest in front of a select audience. These sessions have become the stuff of legend. A legend I heartily subscribe to. The track, Waltzing is Hip from album 3 was the first jazz waltz I'd ever heard that really grabbed me and, I think, it may still be my favourite on this beautiful collection.
Apart from the original four albums, there were two more which I hadn't acquired and a further two albums of Lost Tapes one of which was released many years later and one of unissued tracks including a Peterson vocal, sung in a Nat King Coleish voice - A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening with the vocal group Singers Unlimited. This is indeed a lovely way to spend an evening!
To top it all, there's a 60 page booklet of interviews, background notes and track details.
If you find yourself having to move into smaller promises - like a cardboard box - and find there is only room for 8 CDs this is the one. As regards Reissue CD of the Year all bets are off - now it's down to deciding which of the 8 discs has hit the front - Has there ever been an octuple dead heat?!
1) Action: Oscar Peterson (pno); Ray Brown (bs);; Ed Thigpen (dms). 1963/8
2) Girl Talk: Peterson; Brown/Sam Jones (bs); Louis Hayes/Bobby Durham (dms). 1965/8.
3) The Way I Really Play: Peterson; Jones; Durham. Nov. 1967.
4) My Favourite Instrument: Peterson (solo pno). 1968.
5) Mellow Mood: Peterson; Jones; Durham. 1968.
6) Travelin' On: Peterson; Jones; Durham. 1968.
7) The Lost Tapes 1: Peterson; Brown/Sam Jones (bs); Louis Hayes/Bobby Durham (dms). 1965/8
8): The Lost Tapes 2: Peterson; Brown; Thigpen. Milt Jackson (vbs); Hayes for Thigpen on 1 track; Joe Mraz (bs); Hayes (dms) + Singers Unlimited on 1 track. 1963-1971.
Release date Oct. 2, 2015, from all good retailers or Amazon.