Each month Peter Batten recommends a recording that jazz fans may wish to add to their personal library.
My Favorite Instrument
Like several of my musician friends, I started out feeling rather uneasy about Oscar. I heard some very impressive work on record, especially a concert version of “Tenderly”, but, in person, I was not so sure. Several times in the late 1950s I heard the trio with Herb Ellis on guitar and really did not enjoy it. There were too many breakneck tempos, an intense drive which seemed to lack real swing – every number seemed very tight. Then came the trio with Ed Thigpen on drums. This was much more relaxed, – and better suited for work with guest musicians. My admiration for Oscar began to develop. Then, about 1972, I heard him play a solo set at a London Concert. It was superb; I loved his mastery of solo jazz piano. This CD will recapture for you the exciting, sensitive performance which I heard that evening. My favourite track is Oscar’s beautifully restrained reading of Anthony Newley’s “Who Can I Turn To”
[ Oscar Peterson, My Favourite Instrument, is on MPS CD 1702358]