Soft Sands/Plays My Fair Lady

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
In the '50s, the dividing line between jazz and pop music wasn't as deep as it would be a couple decades down the line, and it wasn't uncommon for a legitimate jazz artist such as Oscar Peterson to make an album that was squarely aimed at the mainstream audience, which is certainly the case with the two Peterson titles reissued on this set. 1957's Soft Sands found Peterson performing a selection of light romantic melodies, all in traditional pop-song length of roughly three minutes or less, accompanied by a small rhythm section and an orchestra directed by Buddy Bregman. The arrangements are silky smooth, complete with shimmering strings and glossy backing vocals, and ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
In the '50s, the dividing line between jazz and pop music wasn't as deep as it would be a couple decades down the line, and it wasn't uncommon for a legitimate jazz artist such as Oscar Peterson to make an album that was squarely aimed at the mainstream audience, which is certainly the case with the two Peterson titles reissued on this set. 1957's Soft Sands found Peterson performing a selection of light romantic melodies, all in traditional pop-song length of roughly three minutes or less, accompanied by a small rhythm section and an orchestra directed by Buddy Bregman. The arrangements are silky smooth, complete with shimmering strings and glossy backing vocals, and Peterson even sings on a few cuts, revealing himself to be a strong, expressive performer with a certain aural resemblance to Nat King Cole. Peterson's piano work is subtle but expert, never intruding on the orchestra but making the most of his spaces, and his touch is superb on these tracks. Meanwhile, Oscar Peterson Plays My Fair Lady is much more of a straightforward jazz session, with Peterson joined by Ray Brown on bass and Gene Gammage on drums as he gracefully interprets songs from the musical My Fair Lady, then a smash hit on Broadway. Peterson approaches the songs like old standards (which is what they would become), and while he's willing to play with the melodies, for the most part he's happy to explore well within their frameworks, and Peterson, Brown, and Gammage play like a well-oiled machine, meshing easily with one another. This is more challenging than the easygoing sounds of Soft Sands, but the familiar melodies and the joie de vivre of these performances make them easily accessible while still a satisfying experience for jazz mavens. These two albums, long out of print prior to this reissue, may be a bit lightweight for hardcore jazz fans, but they certainly capture two different facets of Oscar Peterson's ineffable skill at the piano, and fans of classic piano jazz will find much to like in this set.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/17/2009
  • Label: Lonehill Jazz Spain
  • EAN: 8436019583593
  • Catalog Number: 10359
  • Sales rank: 391,700

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Oscar Peterson Primary Artist, Piano, Vocals
Herb Ellis Guitar
Stan Levey Drums
Ed Thigpen Drums
Buddy Bregman Conductor
Ray Brown Upright Bass
Gene Gammage Drums
Technical Credits
John Lewis Composer
Vernon Duke Composer
Josef Myrow Composer
Ira Gershwin Composer
Mack Gordon Composer
Nat Hentoff Author, Original Liner Notes
Alan Jay Lerner Composer
Frederick Loewe Composer
Piero Umiliani Composer
Dom Cerulli Liner Notes
Karl Suessdorf Composer
Stewart Clay Liner Notes
Blackburn Composer
Rodgers Composer
Livingston Composer
Spence Composer
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