The tribute release Resonance Big Band Plays Tribute to Oscar Peterson featuring pianist Marian Petrescu goes beyond a tribute release as it captures the essence, style, and flare that was the signature of Oscar Peterson.
Resonance Big Band Plays Tribute to Oscar Peterson
Tribute to Oscar Peterson: Waltzing is Hip; L'Impossible; Little Girl Blue; Down Here on the Ground; Medley: Hymn to Freedom, John Brown's Body; Sally's Tomato; Tricotism; Greensleeves; Bossa Beguine; West Side Story Medley; A Little Jazz Exercise
Personnel: Marian Petrescu: Piano; Andrea Öbert: Guitar; David Stone: Bass; Joe La Barbera: Drums; Bob Sheppard: Reed, Flute; Steve Wilkerson: Reed, Flute; Brian Scanion: Reed, Flute; Keith Fiddmont: Reed, Flute; Tom Peterson: Reed, Flute; Willie Murillo: Trumpet, Flugelhorn; Larry Lunetta: Trumpet, Flugelhorn; Bob Summers: Trumpet, Flugelhorn; Larry Hall: Trumpet, Flugelhorn; Andy Martin: Trombone; Bob McChesney: Trombone; Wendell Kelly: Trombone; Bill Reichenbach: Trombone; Bill Reichenbach: Tuba; Pierre Paul: Cabasa (Sally's Tomato); String Quartet (Little Girl Blue, Greensleeves): Peter Kent, Giovanna Clayton, Belinda Broughton, Jessica Van Velzen
Resonance Big Band Plays Tribute to Oscar Peterson was released on the Resonance Records label a division of Rising Jazz Stars Foundation, a non-profit corporation created to discover the next jazz stars from around the world. The saying "finding a diamond in the rough" seems to be the perfect reference to how Resonance Records' President George Klabin found pianist Marian Petrescu. It seems that jazz aficionados never get enough of a good thing, and with the Internet and websites like YouTube there always seems to be someone adding a new video of a choice performance of some the legends of jazz. In this case, George Klabin was surfing the web for new postings of performances by the legendary Oscar Peterson when he came across a performance by Marian Petrescu playing the Oscar Peterson track (Back Home Again In) Indiana. George could not believe his ears as this unknown pianist was handling the Oscar technique to perfection. So, from this simple electronic introduction the relationship started to take shape. After the death of Oscar Peterson in 2007, the idea to do a tribute release seemed to be the perfect way to keep his music alive, and George had his pianist in mind, so he pursued and got Marian Petrescu.
Backed by a Big Band Sound of a Who's Who of musicians as well as the contributions of three of the top jazz arrangers in the business, Bill Cunliffe, Kuno Schmid, and Claus Ogerman, the release Resonance Big Band Plays Tribute to Oscar Peterson became a reality.
With a vast array of songs to select from the Oscar Peterson catalog, the final selection for the release is a compilation of some Oscar classics, some lesser known Oscar songs, and a few songs from other artists that Oscar was known to play, with the result being a captivating and compelling release.
The opening track Waltzing is Hip leaves nothing to the imagination as this rousing song introduces the listener to the magic fingers of Marian Petrescu while the Big Band's brass and string sections keep pace. The track L'Impossible brings out the insightful side of Marian as he renders each note to their fullest on this thoughtful, rich, and beautiful song. Little Girl Blue is an intimate song that requires a special feeling of the keys to capture the essence and body of work that the writers Rogers and Hart had intended, and in the hands of piano virtuosos such as Oscar, and in this case Marian, it achieves the intended result to perfection.
The tracks Down Here on the Ground, and the Medley: Hymn to Freedom and John Brown's Body impart a different phrasing and presentation from other recordings, but always with a nod to the genius of Oscar Peterson.
Other tracks include Sally's Tomato, a beautifully arranged touching song; Tricotism, featuring the Big Band to its fullest with the horn section blazing away and framing Marian's keyboard work while keeping his rich and lush textures intact; the track Greensleeves, which I am personally very fond of due to its touching and moving sections; the stimulating cover of Bossa Beguine will leave you gasping for air as you roll through this rollicking track; the West Side Story Medley will have you snapping your fingers and dancing in the aisles, parks, and streets; and the release closes with the wily Oscar Peterson song A Little Jazz Exercise, which is more than a little exercise, it was a full workout, but Marian was more than up to the challenge.
Websites where you can procure Resonance Big Band Plays Tribute to Oscar Peterson are Amazon, Resonance Records, Jazz Store, CD Universe, and Barnes and Noble.
© July 2009. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com. All rights reserved.