In 1956, the year the peerless improvising pianist Art Tatum died, tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins made a masterpiece of an album titled Saxophone Colossus. For the past half-century, Oscar Peterson (b. 1925; Montreal) has been the jazz world’s undisputed colossus of the grand piano.
Although two of his contemporaries, Bud Powell (1924-1966) and Bill Evans (1929-1980) may have been more influential, Peterson has, since Tatum’s passing, played his chosen instrument with greater brio, velocity, two-handed power, tonal brilliance, accuracy, and sheer virtuosity than anyone in his field. Or maybe in any field. When a Peterson-led group settles into a groove, it is as deep as anything ever dug by a bulldozer. Important though they were, and forever will be, Powell’s and Evans’s respective styles (the former’s knife-edged lines in the right hand, the latter’s twilight chordal voicings in the left) are easier to appropriate than Peterson’s. His attack, like Tatum’s, is sui generis. No one has treated the piano more pianistically than Tatum or Peterson…
…As Herb Ellis has said, "You see, most piano players end where he starts."
First ever 2-CD collection spotlighting the best of both the legendary pianist’s Pablo and Telarc recordings.
Includes the first-ever CD release of a phenomenal solo piano performance of "(Back Home Again In) Indiana"
Liner notes by James Isaacs
Featured artists include Count Basie, Louis Bellson, Ray Brown, Benny Carter, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Herb Ellis, Dizzy Gillespie, Stephane Grappelli, Roy Hargrove, Milt Jackson, Joe Pass, Clark Terry, and others.