OSCAR PETERSON — Tristeza on Piano (review)

OSCAR PETERSON — Tristeza on Piano album cover Album · 1970 · Bop Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Atavachron
It is no surprise that some in the jazz intelligentsia consider this period to be Oscar Peterson's best. Though debatable, I can't find flaw with that assessment. The fact that Peterson was in his mid forties only supports this notion, as more evidence indicates the creative and intellectual sweet spot for the brain occurs in midlife.

Tristeza ("sadness") is essentially Brazilian blues and describes the melancholy but life-loving culture of Brazil where there may be little relief from life's difficulties but still much joy and revelry, even in the poorest favelas. Accordingly, this record not only reflects that as only Peterson could, but is a rich and shining display of where his style had led him. This trio's feet hit the ground running for the title, bossa nova on high with O.P.'s fluidity and signature glissandos filling the space, followed well by Peterson-penned 'Nightingale' as a cool samba. A sweet re-imagining of Gershwin's 'Porgy' with a little Georgia on the mind, some gentle bossa nova for 'Triste', mid-bop of 'You Stepped Out of a Dream' with Sam Jones' bass walking overtime, romantic 'Watch What Happens' and the bright & brilliant wanderings of 'Fly Me to the Moon' spotlighting Peterson's taste for Tyner as well as Monk.

Good stuff, well worth your money, and not a bad starter for this Canuck legend.
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