JazzTimes - 4/03, p.94
"...SOLO finds Peterson full of energy and imagination and eager to fill the harmonic and rhythmic roles of his absent trio colleagues..."
2 LPs on 1 CD: SOLO/LIVE.
Solo performer: Oscar Peterson (piano).
Producer: Norman Granz.
Compilation producer: Eric Miller.
Recorded live in Baalbek, Lebanon and Amsterdam, The Netherlands between August & November 1972. Includes liner notes by Ernie Rideout.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Two previously unreleased 1972 solo concerts are compiled on this Oscar Peterson CD. The first, recorded in Lebanon, sounds as if it may have been recorded for broadcast. While the condition of the instrument provided for him is not quite up to par, Peterson, like his mentor Art Tatum, quickly sizes up the capabilities and limitations of this piano and makes the most of it with a stunning interpretation of "Yesterdays," followed by a romping stride through "Makin' Whoopee." "Take the 'A' Train," "Blues of the Prairies" (from Canadiana Suite), and "Body and Soul" are also worth comparing to other renditions recorded by this giant of the jazz piano. Fortunately, Peterson has a better instrument on hand for his Amsterdam performance. Although the hall seems to have a bit of a cavernous sound to it, the pianist isn't distracted in the least. His blazing takes of "Autumn Leaves" and "Sweet Georgia Brown" are breathtaking, while a delicate "Here's That Rainy Day" is garnished with occasional intricate runs. Perhaps the most enjoyable tracks of the latter set are Peterson's two originals. "Mirage," recorded in 1975 for the album Oscar Peterson et Joe Pass … la Salle Pleyel, is much more understated on this disc; likewise, this version of "Hogtown Blues" is light years apart from the original studio version (from Canadiana Suite). Fans of this jazz legend will want to add this thoroughly enjoyable CD to their collections. ~ Ken Dryden