"This album is continuing testimony to Oscar's supreme abilities as both a composer and interpreter of ballads." from the liner notes
A retrospective look at Oscar Peterson's prolific recording output for Telarc, capturing eight gorgeous compositions from seven different recordings, each performed with the exquisite sensitivity and simplicity that have delighted listeners over his amazing career.
From his legendary trio featuring Herb Ellis on guitar and Ray Brown on bass to his most recent Telarc release with Michel Legrand conducting his dazzling string section, Oscar's Ballad's showcases this gifted pianist in a variety of settings and locales. Features selections from live performances at Town Hall and the Blue Note in New York City, the Salle Playel in Paris and two pieces performed at the Munchen Philharmonika in Munich, Germany.
Teamed up with Benny Green, "If You Only Knew," catches both master and pupil in fine form, trading ideas across the keyboards. "Ecstasy" finds Oscar playing with two of the more renowned young lions, tenorist Ralph Moore and flugelhorn-player Roy Hargrove, allowing each a broad improvisational framework within which to express their original ideas and complementing his own compositional skills.
Born in Montreal, Canada in 1925, Peterson began his musical training at an early age and studied with the gifted Hungarian classical pianist, Paul deMarky. After performing around Canada and appearing on national radio shows there, Peterson formed a trio in 1947 and caught the ear of impresario Norman Granz, leading to an appearance with the all star troupe known as "Jazz at the Philharmonic." He became a regular of JATP in 1950 and embarked on a successful recording career for Verve Records. Peterson earned the Down Beat award as Best Jazz Pianist that year and one he would win on twelve occasions.
Peterson has recorded with most of the jazz greats over the years including Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie Coleman Hawkins and Charlie Parker. He has traveled to all parts of the world spreading the gospel of jazz and has won four Grammy Awards.
His most recent Telarc recording, Trail of Dreams: A Canadian Suite, paid tribute to his homeland and featured the Michel Legrand Strings along with Peterson and his quartet. With Ulf Wakenius on guitar, Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen on bass and Martin Drew on drums, the group performed a lush and lyrical suite set against the orchestral arrangements of the highly celebrated conductor, Michel Legrand.