Georgia On My Mind
This album is Mastered for iTunes. Oscar Peterson recorded Night Train in 1962 at the height of his pianistic powers. Backed by Ray Brown on bass and Ed Thigpen on drums, the Montreal native tackles a number of tunes that were already venerable at the time. There’s plenty of Ellingtonia here: “Happy-Go-Lucky Local” (aka “Night Train”), “C-Jam Blues”, “I Got It Bad (and That Ain’t Good)” and “Band Call”. The trio really digs into “C-Jam Blues”, making it swing mightily, and they imbue a slow-tempo “I Got It Bad” with deep blues feeling. Peterson straddled the worlds of swing and bop, and one of the bonus cuts is a hard-driving, if incomplete, cover of Charlie Parker’s “Now’s the Time”. It’s truly exciting to hear the band cut loose and operate in high-energy mode on the short cut. Gospel gets a nod on a fine version of Hoagy Carmichael’s “Georgia on My Mind” and the Peterson original, “Hymn to Freedom”. The latter song, one of the best things here, was the last track on the original 1960s LP release, where it had a great end-of-the-record sense of drama.