"This is a top notch, grade A, disc of Mainstream Swing Jazz. Not complicated. Straight ahead in your face. Shades of Duke Ellington (represented here with "Satin Doll"). State the theme, improvise, state the theme. Jazz standards, uptempo, and slow. The Oscar Peterson Trio (with Dave Young and Martin Drew), and 2 of the greatest players that ever were; Harry "Sweets" Edison and Joe Pass. Surprisingly, the player who absolutely carries this session is Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson on alto. His solos make this disc. Just terrific playing. "Cleanhead" was a blues player and singer, but listen to him in this Jazz context. As great as everyone is, he stands out. The disc just rolls along from Coleman Hawkins' "Stuffy" at the start to "Satin Doll" at the end, with the theme inverted to make a very different reading. No bebop here, straight ahead from the swing era played by small ensenble. If you are a Jazz person you really will enjoy this. If you are a fan of improvised music you really will enjoy this. If you are new to Jazz, this is a great education of how they used to play it. Old time Jazz played by great players. Anyone who buys this disc will be very surprised. This is one of these discs that is undiscovered. Get this while you can."
Accessible, authentic, entrancing
William Faust | 02/02/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 1986, when I was a folk/rockabilly type migrating to blues, and the sort who fancied it needful to "keep up with the latest," I'd buy a dozen CDs or so a month. One night, I walked into Tower Records and heard this album playing. Like nothing I'd heard before. I sat on the stairs between floors to listen, found the guy in the booth to learn the name, and bought it. I have loved it ever since.
This album started a drastic change my whole orientation to music. So much more sophisticated, witty, and wise than what I'd been playing for years.
This is a fine intro to bluesy, sophisticated jazz. Listen to this, and you'll understand why jazz lovers detest so much of the bland ersatz music passing as "smooth" jazz. This is how it's 'sposed to be."
The "Gray Lions" Don't Dissappoint
William Faust | Columbus, Ohio | 08/13/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Many of the recordings featuring aging jazz musicians are dissapointing because the players are naturally facing dimished capacity. But not this one. Recorded in 1986 when most of the headliners here - Edison, Peterson, Vinson and Joe Pass on guitar (who for some reason fails share the top billing) - were in their 60's or 70's, this Pablo (ie. Norman Granz) session is tight, well conceived and swings with abandon. Everyone sounds great, no stragglers. It's just amazing. There are two medium tempo pieces (Stuffy and Satin Doll), two barn burners (This One's for Jaws and Broadway), two ballads (Everything Happens to Me and What's New) and a slow blues (Slooow Drag). Nice mix. If you like small group swing and blues executed by some of the legends of the swing era, this one's highly recommended."
One of the best trios I've ever heard
C-Town Clown | Lawrenceville, NJ USA | 03/13/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I completely loved this album. Oscar Peterson is absolutely magnificent, and his solos send chills down your spine. There also was great performances by Harry Edison & Cleanhead Vinson. I especially enjoyed the song broadway. Its up beat tempo and great improvisation alone is a good enough reason to buy this CD. I recommend this CD; I am confident that whomever listens to this CD will, if not already, become a life long fan of Oscar Peterson"