While it's true that Oscar Peterson compilations appeared with regularity form the early '60s on, only a few of them – as with most recording artists – have any real merit. This two-disc collection from the Concord Music Group's Telarc label, is one of them. Appearing less than a year before his death, this compilation concentrates on recordings issued from the '50s through the middle of the '80s on Dizzy Gillespie's Pablo label, and those made for Telarc between 1990 and 2000. Many live dates are included here from both labels, including "Tenderly" with Herb Ellis and Ray Brown at the J.A.T.P. concerts in Japan; the trio dates at Zardi's in 1955 ("How High the Moon"), in Copenhagen with Joe Pass, Stéphane Grappelli, and Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen in 1979, and Mickey Roker in 1979 ("Nuages")….
This set from the 1974 Concord Jazz Festival (which has been reissued on CD) is a follow-up to the studio record Soft Shoe and uses similar personnel: guitarist Herb Ellis, bassist Ray Brown, drummer Jake Hanna, trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison, tenor saxophonist Plas Johnson and, in a rare straight-ahead outing, pianist George Duke. Each of the musicians has their chance to be featured; Ellis and Brown play a duet version of "Detour Ahead," and Edison is quite lyrical on "Mood Indigo." This is a bright, swinging set that helped to launch the Concord label.
Herb Ellis, Tal Farlow and Charlie Byrd exemplify the breadth of American jazz. These elder statesmen of the instrument have well over a century of combined knowledge and experience, and their styles cover a vast spectrum of the music, from straight-ahead swing, to be-bop, to bossa nova and beyond. Herb Ellis established an impeccable standard for swinging, mainstream jazz guitar through his extensive work in concert and on record with numerous great jazz instrumentalists including Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, Harry Edison and singer Ella Fitzgerald.
Originally from Montana, but now living, performing, and teaching in San Diego, this is Kristin Korb's first album. Not possessed with an especially powerful set of vocal chords, Korb nonetheless weaves delicate figures with a clear, cool, almost vibrato-less voice. Scatting, but not to the point where lyrics are entirely ignored, she's a pleasant, if not overwhelming, addition to the world of jazz vocals. Korb is joined on this session by the dean of bass players, Ray Brown, and his trio that features the outstanding, hard driving piano player Benny Green, an outstanding soloist in his own right. The trio is augmented by two veterans, Plas Johnson on tenor sax and Conte Candoli on trumpet. Johnson, unfairly, is pretty much known for his work on Henry Mancini's Pink Panther. He has done much more and better work, such as with T-Bone Walker…