Exclusively for My Friends: The Way I Really Play, Vol. III (Live)

Exclusively for My Friends: The Way I Really Play, Vol. III (Live)

Oscar Peterson had a career spanning six decades with gigs recording with Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, as well as his own albums in varied settings. Nonetheless, he believes that the “Exclusively for My Friends” series was his best work; the sets were recorded live in the '60s at the state-of-the-art home studio of MPS Records' Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer, with small invited audiences. The third installment finds the pianist joined by bassist Sam Jones and drummer Bobby Durham. “Waltzing Is Hip” is a rare Peterson original that sets the album in motion at an uptempo pace; it's as much a feature for Durham as it is for the leader. Deeply influenced by Art Tatum, Peterson looks instead to Ellington for swinging version of “Satin Doll” where he toys more with the melody and harmonies rather than the more typical extemporaneous soloing. Never one to shy from the blues, Peterson digs deep into it on “Sandy’s Blues” (another original) as he moves through a variety of moods. Other highlights include the dazzling keyboard work on “Alice in Wonderland” and a tender reading of “Our Love Is Here to Stay.” This series is now remastered and available digitally for the first time.

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