If Art Tatum and Fats Waller had teamed up in a recording session, the results would undoubtedly have been something like this. Whether Waller would have induced as much restraint in the virtuosic Tatum as Basie does in Peterson is debatable, but the effect is not unwelcome. Peterson is not repressed, but there are times when you can almost hear him listening to Basie for direction. Basie's direction is simply straight ahead, with the emphasis on "simply." No pianist has surpassed Basie in boiling material down to its essentials. No pianist has surpassed Tatum in building material up from its essentials, but Peterson has come close. The joy of this album is not only in the contrast between styles but in the compromises, most of which are made by Peterson. So who's the stronger piano player?
Buns Blues, These Foolish Things, R.B., Burning, Exactly Like You, Jumpin' at the Woodside, Louie B., Lester Leaps In, Big Stockings, S & J Blues