Happy New Year!
Let me start by wishing all of my readers an excellent and successful 2018!
Oscar Peterson has been one of my earliest Jazz influences, actually, he was on the first Jazz CD I ever bought around the age of 18 (The Oscar Peterson Trio Plays, from 1964, note that the first jazz album I ever bought was on vinyl just some weeks earlier, Keith Jarrett´s My Song). Before that, I thought that Jazz was annoying and chaotic, how wrong I was!
So you can see, my love of the piano trio format dates back many years.
I’ve written about Oscar Peterson three times previously, about two albums from his legendary trio with Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen (Night Train and Plays The Cole Porter Songbook), but have also already mentioned his later work in Germany (Exclusively For My Friends) in my 25 Essential Jazz albums with several different bassist and drummers.
Walking The Line (MPS 1970)
Walking The Line is another album from the collaboration with MPS and the German producer Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer.
With Peterson, we have George Mraz on bass and Ray Price on drums here. The change in personnel really doesn’t impact this album in any way, this is pure Peterson Swing!
Like with many Peterson albums, we do get some standards. The most famous songs here are Teach Me Tonight and All Of You, but the albums starting song from Cole Porter, Love, you’ll probably also have heard before.
What you may not have heard as much (unless you are from France or you are big fan of the original Thomas Crown Affair) is Michel Legrand´s song The Windmills Of Your Mind.
Michel Legrand is one of the greatest song composers I’m aware of, all the way up there with the giants like Cole Porter. I’ve previously mentioned him in my review of Bill Evans You Must Believe In Spring. I’m very glad he gets featured here as well.
Overall, this is not a must have album, but if you like Peterson, you really won’t regret the purchase. To quote another famous song title, it don’t mean a thing if it ain´t got that swing. Well this album clearly does!
My rating: 4 stars