All reunions should be this good
James A. Vedda | Alexandria, VA USA | 06/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If someone asks my opinion about where to look for the greatest match-ups of jazz artists on record, my first inclination is to say "Milt Jackson and anybody else." Jackson recorded with many great players, but his work with Peterson is really something special. This 1971 session was not the first time these two recorded together (see their 1961 album "Very Tall"), nor would it be the last, but it may be their best. Both were at the peak of their powers. And let's not forget that they're joined here by Ray Brown on bass.
The album opens with an up-tempo version of the Rolling Stones tune "Satisfaction," which the artists have made their own by treating it like a jazz standard, causing listeners to forget the tune's origin. But the real strength of the album is the exquisite renditions of three ballads: "Dream of You," "A Time for Love" (which sneaks in a double-time chorus near the end), and "When I Fall in Love" (where Brown's bass opens and closes the tune).
Oscar often liked to include a jazz waltz in his recording sessions, and this album delivers a nice one with "Someday My Prince Will Come." The title track and the closer "Red Top" provide the requisite blues offerings.
Fans of either Oscar or Milt - or of piano and vibes in general - will truly enjoy this album. The three ballads are likely to become favorite additions to your appropriate iPod playlist, whether it be "Ballads," "Easy Listening," or something like "Sexy Bachelor Pad Music.""
S J Buck | Kent, UK | 03/30/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Another classic reissue for Oscar Petersons 80th Birthday (two years ago now). This album was recorded in 1971 and not only features Ray Brown on Bass and Louis Hayes on drums, but also the great Milt Jackson on Vibes.
The album kicks off with a version of Satisfaction (the Stones tune). Jackson and Peterson take good solos, but I wonder if they really wanted this on the album because there is a fade at the end of the track, which is quite unusual for a Jazz album. Maybe the producers wanted it, rather than the musicians. However the remaining tracks are firmly jazz standards. Theres a fine version of "Someday my Prince will come". "When I Fall In Love" is a beautifully played ballad where all the musicians shine and it might be the best track on the album.
The album finishes with "Red Top" a lovely medium tempo blues which at this tempo allows Peterson and Jackson to both play great solos with Peterson really building up quite a head steam.
Sadly not only have Milt Jackson and Ray Brown died in the last 10 years, but the original producer of the album Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer also died in 2004 shortly before this reissue was released. He was responsible for the great sound on all of Oscar Petersons MPS albums from the late 60's and early 70's.
This isn't as good as the album "Very Tall" recording in the early 60's, which has a better version of "Reunion blues" on it, but give this album a few listens and you'll be hooked I promise.