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Oscar Peterson – Exclusively for My Friends (1968/1992/2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/88.2kHz]

Oscar Peterson – Exclusively for My Friends (1968/1992/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88.2kHz  | Time – 03:56:18 minutes | 4.27 GB | Genre: Jazz
Official Digital Download – Source: highresaudio.com | © MPS Records

Recorded: 1963 – 1968
Digitally remastered from the original master tapes.

Exclusively for My Friends’ is widely seen as the centerpiece of any Oscar Peterson collection. Peterson himself went into raptures about the MPS recordings, stating that, thanks to the intimate recording atmosphere in Hans Georg Brunnder-Schwer’s living room and his pursuit of perfection as a sound engineer and producer, they belonged to his best. The private recordings were made between 1963 and 1968 and are the impressive result of the long-standing friendship between the exceptional Canadian pianist and the label owner from the Black Forest. They serve to document Peterson’s exquisite playing style in high profile trios as well as Brunner-Schweer’s keenness to create almost audiophile sound characteristics.

Vol. I – Action

Artist: Oscar Peterson
Title: Exclusively for My Friends Vol. I – Action
Genre: Jazz, Bop, Mainstream Jazz, Piano Jazz
Label: © MPS Records
Release Date: 1968
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 88,2kHz/24bit
Duration: 00:41:15
Recorded: May 1964, Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer Studio, Villingen, West Germany

Oscar Peterson developed a friendship with Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer, who proceeded to record the pianist in his first-rate studio beginning in the early ’60s, even though Peterson was under an exclusive contract to Verve at the time. The solution to this problem was to wait until after it expired, and then a number of these sessions were released on various BASF or MPS LPs (and later on Pausa LP reissues). Action represents some of Peterson’s earliest work for Brunner-Schwer; these sessions were recorded before an invited audience in the studio, with the pianist’s working trio of Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen. The group seems extremely relaxed and inspired by the small group of loyal fans, with a brisk waltz treatment of “At Long Last Love” and an extended workout of fellow pianist Billy Taylor’s ballad “Easy Walker” starting things off with a flourish. Their approach to “Tin Tin Deo” is remarkably subtle, while Peterson is at his most lyrical during a pair of Gershwin selections, “I’ve Got a Crush on You” and “A Foggy Day.” The influence of Art Tatum is apparent with Peterson’s darting runs in “Like Someone in Love.” –Ken Dryden

Tracklist:
1 At Long Last Love (4:56) Cole Porter
2 Easy Walker (9:36) Billy Taylor
3 Tin Tin Deo (5:34) Pozzo Chano
4 I’ve Got A Crush On You (5:15) G. & I. Gershwin
5 Foggy Day (4:35) G. & I. Gershwin
6 Like Someone In Love (11:18) van Heusen/Burke

Personnel:
Oscar Peterson – piano
Ray Brown – bass
Ed Thigpen – drums

Vol. II – Girl Talk

Artist: Oscar Peterson
Title: Exclusively for My Friends Vol. II – Girl Talk
Genre: Jazz, Bop, Mainstream Jazz, Piano Jazz
Label: © MPS Records
Release Date: 1968
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 88,2kHz/24bit
Duration: 00:39:53
Recorded: Late 1965, November 1966, November 1967, April 1968, Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer Studio, Villingen-Schwenningen, West Germany

One of a number of memorable albums recorded by Oscar Peterson for MPS during the mid-’60s, Girl Talk was compiled from several live studio sessions taped between 1964 and 1966, with bassist Sam Jones and either Bobby Durham or Louis Hayes on drums. Peterson’s romping right hand helps this normally bland show tune. The pianist’s imaginative unaccompanied introduction to “I’m in the Mood for Love” adds a new dimension to this old chestnut, with the rhythm section making a belated entrance; it is rather unusual to hear the trio play on just one song for 17 minutes. The title track, an overlooked gem jointly written by Bobby Troup and Neal Hefti, finds the leader in a bluesy mood. The relaxed but jaunty treatment of “Robbin’s Nest” follows a powerful medley of “I Concentrate on You” and “Moon River” to wrap up this highly recommended session. –Ken Dryden

Tracklist:
1 On A Clear Day (4:29) Lerner / Lane
2 I’m In The Mood For Love (16:50) Mc Hugh / Fields
3 Girl Talk (5:32) Troup / Hefti
4 Medley (6:24) I Concentrate On You Cole Porter Moon River Mercer / Mancini
5 Robbins Nest (6:16) Thompson / Jaquet

Personnel:
Oscar Peterson – piano
Ray Brown / Sam Jones – bass
Louis Hayes / Bobby Durham– drums

Vol. III – The Way I Really Play

Artist: Oscar Peterson
Title: Exclusively for My Friends Vol. III The Way I Really Play
Genre: Jazz, Bop, Mainstream Jazz, Piano Jazz
Label: © MPS Records
Release Date: 1968
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 88,2kHz/24bit
Duration: 00:40:19
Recorded at the private studio of Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer, Villingen-Schwenningen, West Germany, April, 1968.

The third volume of Oscar Peterson’s Exclusively for My Friends series, all recorded with an invited audience in the warm studio of producer Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer, features live trio sessions with bassist Sam Jones and drummer Bobby Durham. The program opens with an unusual medley of Ray Brown’s “Waltzing Is Hip” (played with gusto) and a gently swinging “Satin Doll.” The influence of Art Tatum is apparent during his intricate runs within “Love Is Here to Stay,” while the multifaceted original “Sandy’s Blues” (dedicated to his wife) combines a dark mood with a swinging setting. The lighthearted waltzing treatment of “Alice in Wonderland” is pure joy, while another original, “Noreen’s Nocturne,” is simply a showstopper. –Ken Dryden

Tracklist:
1 Waltzing Is Hip (6:11) Wayne / Brown
2 Satin Doll (10:05) Duke Ellington
3 Love Is Here To Stay 4:45 G. Gershwin
4 Sandy’s Blues (9:26) Oscar Peterson
5 Alice In Wonderland (4:41) Hilliard / Fain
6 Noreen’s Nocturne (5:15) Oscar Peterson

Personnel:
Oscar Peterson – piano
Sam Jones – bass
Bobby Durham – drums

Vol. IV – My Favourite Instrument

Artist: Oscar Peterson
Title: Exclusively for My Friends Vol. IV – My Favourite Instrument
Genre: Jazz, Bop, Mainstream Jazz, Piano Jazz
Label: © MPS Records
Release Date: 1968
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 88,2kHz/24bit
Duration: 00:40:17
Recorded: April, 1968 at Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer Studio, Villingen-Schwenningen, West Germany

Oscar Peterson recorded a remarkable amount of albums during his career but, surprisingly, this was his first full record of unaccompanied piano solos. Some observers consider his MPS recordings to be his best (quite a few are collected in the four-CD reissue Exclusively for My Friends, including this one). The solo album features Peterson (freed from the constraints of his trio) stretching out on nine familiar standards and really tearing into a few of them, including “Perdido,” “Bye Bye Blackbird,” “Lulu’s Back in Town,” while giving “Little Girl Blue” a beautiful and lyrical treatment. A prelude to his outstanding Pablo recordings, My Favorite Instrument is one of Peterson’s top albums of the 1960s. –Scott Yanow

Tracklist:
1 Someone To Watch Over Me (4:10) G. & I. Gershwin
2 Perdido (6:10) Juan Tizol
3 Body And Soul (4:28) Johnnie Green
4 Who Can I Turn To (4:53) Bricusse / Newley
5 Bye, Bye Blackbird (4:50) Dixon / Henderson
6 I Should Care (4:42) Stordhal / Weston / Cahn
7 Lulu’s Back In Town (2:00) Warren / Dubin
8 Little Girl Blue (6:02) Rodgers / Hart
9 Take The ‘A’ Train (2:37) Billy Strayhorn

Personnel:
Oscar Peterson – piano

Vol. V – Mellow Mood

Artist: Oscar Peterson
Title: Exclusively for My Friends Vol. V – Mellow Mood
Genre: Jazz, Bop, Mainstream Jazz, Piano Jazz
Label: © MPS Records
Release Date: 1968
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 88,2kHz/24bit
Duration: 00:37:09
Recorded: April 1968 at Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer Studio, Villingen, West Germany

The fifth volume of Oscar Peterson’s Exclusively for My Friends series is another lively trio affair with Sam Jones and Bobby Durham, though the album title Mellow Mood is a bit deceptive. “In a Mellow Tone” plunges in full force with a bluesy performance, with the audience responding to Peterson’s opening solo as Durham switches from brushes to sticks. Peterson’s amusing detour into Mercer Ellington’s “Things Ain’t What They Used to Be” and Jones’ driving bass add to its appeal. His arrangement of Horace Silver’s “Nica’s Dream” begins quietly before he slowly turns on the turbochargers in an inspired performance. Gone is the overly dramatic introduction to “On Green Dolphin Street” heard during the earlier 1961 sessions at the London House; this interpretation is far more compelling as it doesn’t seek to overwhelm the listener with the pianist’s technique. The snappy take of “Summertime” is infused with a blues feeling in a brisk setting, while “Who Can I Turn To” evokes the memory of Art Tatum, though this composition was obviously never recorded by Oscar’s good friend. Peterson fires up the tempo as Jones and Durham join him. –Ken Dryden

Tracklist:
1 In A Mellotone (5:58) Ellington / Gabler
2 Nica’s Dream (7:46) Horace Silver
3 Green Dolphin Street (6:18) Washington / Kaper
4 Summertime (5:20) Gershwin / Heyward
5 Sometimes I’m Happy (5:04) van Youmans / Caesar / Grey
6 Who Can I Turn To (6:18) Bricusse / Newley

Personnel:
Oscar Peterson – piano
Sam Jones – bass
Bobby Durham – drums

Vol. VI – Travelin’ On

Artist: Oscar Peterson
Title: Exclusively for My Friends Vol. VI – Travelin’ On
Genre: Jazz, Bop, Mainstream Jazz, Piano Jazz
Label: © MPS Records
Release Date: 1968
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 88,2kHz/24bit
Duration: 00:37:21
Recorded: April 1968 at Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer Studio, Villingen, West Germany

This is yet another memorable concert by the Oscar Peterson Trio recorded in Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer’s excellent studio. With bassist Sam Jones and drummer Bobby Durham, Peterson tears into the old gospel favorite “Travelin’ On” with a passion second to none. Following it is a beautiful treatment of Johnny Mandel’s timeless ballad “Emily,” which runs for over ten minutes but never loses its impact. Durham sets the pace with his soft percussion to set up Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Corcovado” (later known as “Quiet Nights”), though Peterson devours the song whole with a breathtaking display of his formidable technique. Francy Boland’s “Sax No End” was a relatively new composition, having been recorded for the first time just the previous year by the Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Big Band. But one can almost hear a larger ensemble by listening to Peterson’s virtuoso interpretation in an uptempo setting, assisted by Jones’ agile bass and Durham’s steady percussion. Peterson cools off his audience with an extended exploration of Benny Carter’s “When Lights Are Low,” though his fresh approach makes it seem like a brand new composition. Like other releases in Oscar Peterson’s Exclusively for My Friends series, Travelin’ On is warmly recommended. –Ken Dryden

Tracklist:
1 Travelin’ On (2:29) O. Peterson, Traditional
2 Emily (10:16) Johnny Mande
3 Quiet Nights (7:25) Jobim / Lees
4 Sax No End (5:57) Francy Boland
5 When Lights Are Low (10:53) Carter

Personnel:
Oscar Peterson – piano
Sam Jones – bass
Bobby Durham – drums

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