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Bebop Spoken There

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Postage

13,837 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 1254 of them this year alone and, so far, 66 this month (Oct. 23).

From This Moment On ...

October

Tue 26: Classic Swing @ Ship inn, Monkseaton. 1:00pm. The post-lockdown resumption of the band’s weekly residency will be fortnightly until further notice.
Tue 26: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre. 8:00pm. The post-lockdown resumption of the Black Swan’s fortnightly jam session.

Wed 27: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 27: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 27: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 28: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 28: J Frisco @ Newcastle University. 1:15pm. ONLINE ONLY (YouTube).
Thu 28: ’58 Jazz Collective @ Hops & Cheese, Hartlepool. 7:30pm.
Thu 28: Maine Street Jazzmen @ Sunniside Social Club, Gateshead. 8:30pm.
Thu 28: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm.

Fri 29: James Birkett & Bradley Johnston @ Gala Theatre, Durham. 1:00pm..
Fri 29: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm..
Fri 29: Rendezvous Jazz @ Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm..
Fri 29: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm.

Sun 31 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon..
Sun 31: Musicians Unlimited @ South Durham Social Club, Hartlepool. 1:00pm. .
Sun 31: More Jam @ The Globe, Newcastle. 3:00pm. Jam session..
Sun 31: Alison Rayner Quintet @ The Globe, Newcastle. 8:00pm.

Mon 01: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Oscar Peterson Trio Live at Ronnie Scott's - BBC 4

A typical Peterson bravura performance - has there been a more technically accomplished pianist in jazz? I don't think so although Tatum, of course, ran him close. In this set from 1974 the great man was joined by Barney Kessell on guitar and Niels Henning Oersted-Pederson on bass and it says much that Peterson towered so much above the other two that their true status was somewhat submerged.
Prior to the arrival of Barney and Niels, our man had played a couple of unaccompanied numbers; "I Should Care" and a particularly impressive version of "This Nearly Was Mine". I've always felt the Rodgers and Hammerstein tune never reaches its potential when sung in the semi-operatic manner demanded of it in "South Pacific" and here Oscar totally stripped it of any sentimentality even to the extent of adding some stride-like touches without losing its harmonic attraction.
Although not in the driving seat, Barney did have a couple of decent solos but it is my feeling that a guitarist - any guitarist - is on a hiding to nothing when Oscar is in full flight. (Roly says "Click here to Check Lorne Lofsky out" - see comments)
An enjoyable half hour.
The docs that followed on Billie and Bird were, to say the least, harrowing.

8 comments :

Anonymous said...

One of the Peterson guitarists I like very much is Canadian Lorne Lofsky. He is a wonderful player - some nice examples of his unique playing are on YouTube. He can fly with the best but also seems nowadays to play a lot of subtle finger style harmony (with thumb pick)- and does it beautifully.
Roly

Lance said...

As you have remarked, another unsung hero. Plus at this stage in his life Peterson was as flamboyant than when he was at his peak thus leaving more spaces.
Someone once described Peterson (or was it Buddy Rich or both?) as a steamroller with a formula One engine!

Anonymous said...

Yes a good description - I actually got into jazz via Peterson. That great album 'Night Train'. I liked R&B and folk blues incl. blues & boogie woogie pno (Jimmy Yancey/Meade Lux Lewis etc)then saw Peterson probably on The Palladium TV show and was hooked. Dare I say it though - whilst he was a phenomenal pianist I don't think he was a great accompanist - tended to be a bit over busy. Be interested to see what others (specially pianists) think of this viewpoint. Gulp. I'll probably get slapped down.
Roly

Lance said...

Interesting point re Oscar. I think that if you are looking for an accompanist then guys such as Hank Jones or Ellis Larkins spring to mind. Put people like Peterson, Tatum or Garner with an instrumentalist (Tatum/Webster springs to mind) then you have to regard them as, in classical terms, a double concerto with bass and drums being the sole accompanists.
How about Brubeck/Desmond? How do you rate Dave as an accompanist?

Anonymous said...

An interesting topic and although I didn't see the concert in question, ( I hope it wasn't one of those recorded shortly before his death, when he was literally playing with one hand, which was sad to watch) but I agree with Roly in this respect----- Oscar was, without doubt, a phenomenal player with a flawless technique, immaculate harmonic sense & "hair -raising" drive & swing and in this respect had no equal. But he was a very competitive player who, I guess, found it difficult to play second fiddle to anyone, and on some recordings, you almost feel that he is goading rather than accompanying in a sympathetic manner.
I am not too familiar with his work with vocalists apart from Ella & Fred Astaire but I have never considered him to be alongside Tommy Flanagan, Hank Jones or Ellis Larkins as an accompanist. But I do remember a series of recordings he did with other virtuoso players such as Freddie Hubbard, Joe Pass, John Faddis etc which were virtually face to face "warfare". One got the feeling that Oscar was saying "this is how brilliant I am so let's see if YOU can stay with me".
I remember one of the tracks on the album with Freddie Hubbard, which was at breakneck speed, where they were swapping 4s & 8s with astounding brilliance until Freddie became so exasperated with the increasing complexity of Oscar's breaks that he collapsed into a series of whinnying & farting noises. Oscar had proved his point!
It must have been difficult for him to contain himself when accompanying lesser mortals but as Anne will confirm, the "fireworks" are for the solos & not for the accompaniment. But HEY,if that's his only flaw, I'LL settle for that on the same terms!!!!!
Bill and Anne

Anonymous said...

A fair assessment Bill. I do like accompanists who listen/react and play 'in the gaps' - Russ Freeman with Chet Baker is a nice example.
But Peterson has his place at the absolute pinnacle when it comes to virtuoso, 'lead from the front' jazz piano.
I've got a DVD where he plays with both Ray Brown & NOHP and some of his playing on that is just breathtaking. So is their's!
Peterson was a lovely guy too, do you remember when BBC gave him a series of chat shows. He seemed a bit uncomfortable doing the Parky bit but his genuine nature shone through and incidentally he sang a nice Nat Cole inspired vocal too. Changing tack what about the unsung Freddy Cole? Another master musician.
Roly

Anonymous said...

Peterson could be a little busy in comparison to some other pianists (ideal for the trio stuff) but having said that, I've never found it irritating, so presumably it's not too busy?!

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