Playing Our Song is a nod to the artist who can do it all—in this case, four pianists known for their playing, here showcasing their compositions. Dave Brubeck, Ahmad Jamal, Oscar Peterson, and George Shearing lend their own songs to this special selection of eight tracks.
A sensational Oscar Peterson turns the heat up right away on "Kelly's Blues," which was recorded live at the Blue Note in 1990. He introduces "Love Ballade"/ "If You Only Knew" solo with guitarist Herb Ellis, bassist Ray Brown, and drummer Bobby Durham easing in to create an unforgettable piece of jazz.
Always a harmonically inventive player, George Shearing executes his "Lullaby of Birdland" with a brisk, swinging drive, while "Conception" with Louis Stewart on guitar, Neil Swainson on bass, Steve Nelson on vibraphone, and Dennis Mackrell on drums receives similarly thoughtful treatment.
On "Bellows," recorded in 1992 at Joe Segal's Jazz Showcase in Chicago, Ahmad Jamal dazzles the audience with his polished execution and command of the keyboard. The short, yet strong and intricate "My Flower" is one of the CD's most impressive compositions.
Played with the authority of a legend, Dave Brubeck's solo contribution is the stately and alert "Strange Meadowlark." The album closes gracefully with the pensive "Koto Song," recorded live at the Blue Note in 1993 with flutist Bobby Militello, bassist Jack Six, and drummer Randy Jones.
More than just a unique introduction to the giants of jazz piano, Playing Our Songs is for anyone who enjoys hearing the great ones play their own compositions.