Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Blast From The Past: Oscar Peterson Trio + Guests

A little musical candy for your viewing pleasure. This video features the first of Oscar Peterson's legendary trios. Influenced by the instrumentation of the Nat Cole Trio (piano, bass, guitar), Oscar's first trio featured Ray Brown on bass and Herb Ellis on guitar. The rhythm section in this video is augmented by drummer Jo Jones (whose unique and tasteful style is showcased in this video with a great solo).
The tune is "C-Jam Blues," a standard blues tune composed by Duke Ellington that sometimes goes by the title, "Duke's Place." (Check out the album "Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong" for the a swinging version with the sometimes used lyric). The video showcases some of the great musical stylists of the 1930's, 1940's, and 1950's including Flip Phillips and Illinois Jacquet on tenor saxophone and Roy Eldridge on trumpet. The rhythm section is certainly inspiring to the soloists in this video (check out Eldridge's solo especially), and watching it, it is very apparent why the Oscar Peterson Trio was one of the most popular and sought out rhythm sections of it's day.
The video begins with an introduction by the great jazz impresario, Norman Granz, and features one of the most popular versions of his "Jazz at the Philharmonic" lineups. Loved by the musicians he employed, Granz was especially respected for standing up for them in times of racial inequality.
After this version of the Peterson trio disbanded, Oscar formed his second legendary trio with Ray Brown on bass, and Ed Thigpen on drums. It wasn't until 1990 that the original trio reunited. The place: the Blue Note.

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