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The Complete World Transcriptions

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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Barney Kessel (guitar); Oscar Peterson (piano).
  • Liner Note Author: John Bennett .
  • Recorded in 1952, the classic Oscar Peterson Trio with bassist Ray Brown and guitarist Barney Kessel cut these 24 transcription recordings for the intended purpose of being broadcast to radio audiences all over the globe. The trouble is, they were never released. This is the trio at its most lithe, tight, and engaging, playing standards with great empathy and verve. The tunes are short, without lengthy improvisations, but that was hardly necessary given the balance and articulation of this group. The program is almost equally split between uptempo numbers and ballads, and in true OPT fashion, each member gets his chance to shine. While Peterson is clearly in the star's chair, listen to Brown's killer intro on "Makin' Whoopee" or Kessel's terrific solo on "Body and Soul." There are other moments that are quite compelling as well, such as Peterson's nod to Ray Charles on the intro to "Singin' in the Rain." The sound quality on this set is quite good if not excellent, and it is balanced well considering the source tapes -- and no, there isn't anything to distract from enjoyment of the music. Certainly this material has been available on shoddy bootlegs over the decades, but this release, which is official, puts it readily in the hands of anyone who wants to purchase it. Highly recommended. ~ Thom Jurek
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