Album Remarks & Appraisals:
For the first time, the complete 4 LP albums of 'The Fred Astaire Story' on a double-CD set. 20-bit remastered, with comprehensive notes. Jazz Factory. 2005.
Personnel: Oscar Peterson (piano, celesta); Fred Astaire (vocals); Barney Kessel (guitar); Flip Phillips (tenor saxophone); Charlie Shavers (trumpet); Alvin Stoller (drums).
Liner Note Authors: Fred Astaire; John Flanagan.
Recording information: Radio Recorders, Hollywood, CA.
Perhaps more organically grounded than his earlier Hollywood recordings, Fred Astaire's December 1952 collaborations with pianist Oscar Peterson have an intimate honesty about them that some might find comforting. Of course, most of this material, written by Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Arthur Schwartz, Jerome Kern, Vincent Youmans, Johnny Mercer, and the Gershwin brothers, is tied directly to Astaire's motion-picture career. Included are two ad-lib tap dance inventions and three original compositions devised especially for this project by Peterson. Producer Norman Granz fortified the sessions with the Jazz at the Philharmonic All-Stars, placing trumpeter Charlie Shavers and tenor saxophonist Flip Phillips in front and surrounding the pianist with guitarist Barney Kessel, bassist Ray Brown, and drummer Alvin Stoller. You can't beat 40 tracks featuring Fred and Oscar together. ~ arwulf arwulf