Timothy Kearney | Hull, MA United States | 03/01/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
SIDE BY SIDE was issued in the 1994, during the heyday of crossover releases. The recording industry began noticing that customers, particularly younger buyers were interested in more than one musical genre and there was a tendency to have the greats of different areas work together to create an interesting collaboration. Classical stars attempted jazz, jazz performers classical, Broadway stars sang the classics, and opera invaded Broadway. Some attempts were more successful than others, and some were banal at best. Of course it's also a matter of taste. What some critics deemed banal has become beloved and some more acclaimed entries have been less appreciated by listeners. SIDE BY SIDE has the potential to be a great disc with Jazz great Oscar Peterson and violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman as its performers. Some disagree as to whether it lives to its promise. Fans of both performers seem to agree that it is not Oscar Peterson at his best nor is it Itzhak Perlman at his best, but still it's a very worthwhile disc. Neither star overshadows the other. Most of the pieces are easy listening/popular pieces that make it a wonderful background collection for work or relaxation. My favorite track is "Nighttime" a piece composed by Peterson that is at one moment tranquil and another exciting. Other enjoyable tracks are "Dark Eyes" "Blue Skies" "Why Think About Tomorrow" (another Peterson composition) and an "On the Trail" except that Grofe might not recognize but is original and entertaining.
As I've read some other reviews of this disc, some claim neither performer is at home in the other's camp. I'm not sure this is correct. Itzhak Perlman's versatility is perhaps greatest strength after his musical ability and he seems to go to great lengths to make sure that music is his central focus, not his personality, and this is true as far as this disc is concerned. Since I am most at home with classical music and performers, I am not an Oscar Peterson expert, but I believe he is at least at home, and if he's not he disguises it well. The disc has an ensemble feel to it and over all makes it satisfying, perfect for a quiet night or a lazy Sunday afternoon. "
The Novelty Will Never Wear Off
Rebecca*rhapsodyinblue* | CA USA | 04/30/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Oscar Peterson teaming up with a fine and distinguished classical musician, Itzhak Perlman, is one of the most ingenious collaborations the legendary pianist had ever done in the course of his glowing musical career. The result is ear-catching and inspiring. The novelty will never wear off.
The nimble-fingered pianist shares the spotlight with the virtuoso of the violin and multi-Grammy Award winner in presenting a dozen of classically-infused jazz tunes from this remarkable album, "Side By Side." Joining them is a trio of talented musicians - guitarist Herb Ellis, bassist Ray Brown and drummer Grady Tate sharing their wealth of experience in their respective craft to bring to the listeners an innovative and enjoyable listening adventure.
The charms of these melodies are enhanced by the way Perlman plays his sweepingly beautiful violin. "Yours Is My Heart Alone" completely captivated my ears. It is adapted from a classical piece "Dein Ist Mein Ganzes Herz" composed by Franz Lehár from the operetta "The Land of Smiles." It's one of my most magical listening moments. While "Misty" has that tranquil beauty that will penetrate your heart and soul, "Blue Skies" is all jazzed-up, it will put a smile on your face and will add spark to your listening experience. The interplay between Peterson and Perlman in "I Loves You Porgy" is so enchanting. They allow each other to have their own shining moments. I've never thought a piano and a violin will produce an utterly entrancing sound. Piano and violin combination is a sheer delight. I can imagine George Gershwin listening to this gorgeous piece with a big smile on his face.
Fans of Peterson and Perlman should not miss out on this recording. What makes this album so special to me is that two of my all-time favorite melodies which are seldom recorded are here, "Dark Eyes" and "Yours Is My Heart Alone." My ears are grateful and blissful!
With my heartfelt recommendation."
Different kind of Jazz
rovermark | Ottawa, Ontario Canada | 06/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Definitely worth my money, Perlman and Peterson do something not done before: a combination of jazz with Perlman's violin is pleasing to the ear.Probably not for those who like traditional jazz; more for those who are willing to explore music beyond the traditional confines"
Jon H. Appleton | White River Junction, VT USA | 02/28/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Who is this schlemiel Alyn Shipton? This is the most pathetic recording I have ever purchased. Does the producer think his travails in producing this album justify its release? For the record, I was a friend of Oscar Peterson and I admire most of Itzhak Perlman's recordings. But this release is a limp travesty and TELARC executives Robert Woods and Elaine Martone should be ashamed for allowing this to be released. Following Oscar's stroke he could only use his right (and remarkable) right hand. Compare, if you will, "On the Trail" on Digital at Montreaux to understand the lack of fire on this recording or even Oscar's recording of "Makin Whoopee" in his duet with Grappelli. The truth is that even with Ray Brown, Herb Ellis and Grady Tate, Perlman cannot swing and Oscar is sadly without his left hand."