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Oscar Peterson: Exclusively for My Friends

Album Remarks & Appraisals:

For the first time, the legendary recording sessions the Oscar Peterson Trio made in the living room of the legendary German jazz label MPS founder Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer are released in an 8 CD box set. The collection combines six original releases with two collections of "Lost Tapes" released here for the first time. Painstakingly re-mastered, the analog atmosphere of the living room of the jazz-loving millionaire and record label owner is made palpable with these sessions that showcase the genius of Peterson in a rare performing environment. Included in the box set is a 60 page booklet containing interviews with Brunner-Schwer's son Andreas and the music journalist Siegfried Schmidt-Joos who provide first-hand insight into the atmosphere in Brunner-Schwer's Black Forest villa.

Album Reviews:

Down Beat (3/93, p.43) - 5 Stars - Excellent - "...Peterson responded to the setting, hospitality, and intimacy with what he would later describe as the best recordings he had ever made...[he] controls his vast technique at all times...simply brilliant..."

Musician (3/93, p.94) - "...the daunting improvs on standard melodies are downright robust...the master's Tatumesque rococoisms are offset by some Bud-like oomph, and thi set is all the more persuasive because of it..."

Album Notes

Personnel: Oscar Peterson (piano); Ray Brown, Sam Jones (bass); Ed Thigpen, Bobby Durham, Louis Hayes (drums).

Recorded in George Brunner-Schwer's private studio in Villingen, Germany between 1963 and 1968. Includes liner notes by Sigfried Schmidt-Joos and Baldur Bockhoff.

EXCLUSIVELY FOR MY FRIENDS contains the 6 LPs Oscar Peterson recorded for the German label MPS (Musik Produktion Schwarzwald). Three of the discs are trio recordings and one is of solo piano. The set includes a 32-page booklet with historic black and white photographs and a discography with pictures of the original album covers.

Oscar Peterson has stated that he feels his MPS recordings are his finest. That is quite a statement considering the huge amount of records that the pianist has produced through the past 50 years. This four-CD set reissues the music from six of his MPS LPs: Action, Girl Talk, The Way I Really Play, My Favorite Instrument, Mellow Mood, and Travelin' On. While some of the performances feature the 1963 trio he had with bassist Ray Brown and drummer Ed Thigpen, most of the music dates from 1967-1968 and matches Peterson with bassist Sam Jones and either Louis Hayes or Bobby Durham on drums. A special treat is Peterson's first unaccompanied solo album, which fills up the final CD. Peterson's many fans know what to expect in this set, while other listeners need to discover him to realize what all of the fuss was about. Quite simply, Oscar Peterson has long been one of the greatest pianists the world has ever known; this reissue offers plenty of proof. ~ Scott Yanow


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