Soft Sands/Plays My Fair Lady

Soft Sands/Plays My Fair Lady

by Oscar Peterson

CD(Spanish Import)

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Soft Sands/Plays My Fair Lady

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.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/17/2009
Label: Lonehill Jazz Spain
UPC: 8436019583593
catalogNumber: 10359

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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