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A Tribute to Oscar Peterson

Composer Oscar Peterson
Various Composers
Performer Andrew Litton
Period Modern
Catalogue Number BIS-2034 SACD
EAN 7318599920344
Format SACD Hybrid

This hybrid disc plays on both CD and SACD players
SACD Surround - SACD Stereo - CD Stereo

Release date Jan 2014
Total time 54'00

International piano choice, International Piano: “Litton’s playing is remarkable...and the whole disc is a delight.”

On his 16th birthday, receiving an LP of Oscar Peterson playing solo, Andrew Litton was ‘hooked’, to use his own term: ‘If I’ve ever experienced anything close to an epiphany, this was it!’ Having had opportunities to hear pianists such as Horowitz, Rubinstein, Richter and Gilels in recital, he was struck by Peterson’s playing: ’the amazing colours and voicing, the feathering of the sustain pedal (only Horowitz had such an astonishing pedal technique!), the achingly beautiful original harmonies…’

Collecting all of Peterson’s recordings and seeking out opportunities to hear him live and meet him in person, over the years Litton realized that the admiration he felt was shared by many of the classical musicians that he met during his ‘day job’ as a conductor.

When he started to come across transcriptions of Peterson’s improvisations made by such musician friends, Litton began collecting and learning them himself. He started with one of his personal favourites, Richard Rodgers’ Little Girl Blue, using it as an encore when making appearances as a pianist – he even played it at a memorial service for his late mother. As he kept learning new improvisations, what Litton himself describes as ‘a dream’ took shape – to record his own performances of some of these transcriptions as a tribute to his hero.

Litton’s selection includes twelve classic songs from recordings spanning four decades, from Thelonius Monk’s ‘Round Midnight and Billy Strayhorn’s Take the ‘A’ Train to Thad Jones’ A Child is Born, and his preparations for this very special recording have if anything deepened his admiration for Peterson: ‘He did things daily at the piano while spontaneously improvising that the rest of us spend a lifetime trying to achieve.’
Choose format
  Harry Warren
01 Lulu’s Back in Town 2'12
  Thelonious Monk, Cootie Williams
02 ’Round Midnight 6'27
  Johnny Green
03 Body and Soul 5'32
  Thad Jones
  A Child Is Born
04 A Child is Born 3'04
  Richard Rodgers
05 Little Girl Blue 6'21
  Billy Strayhorn
06 Take the ‘A’ Train 2'45
  Spencer Williams
  Basin Street Blues
07 Basin Street Blues 4'38
  George Gershwin
08 How Long Has This Been Going On 6'00
  Hoagy Carmichael
09 The Nearness of You 3'23
  Harold Arlen
  Over The Rainbow
10 Over the Rainbow 2'29
  Mercer Ellington
11 Things Ain’t What They Used to Be 3'01
  Juan Tizol
12 Perdido 6'46
  Album total 54'00
ComposerArlen, Harold
Carmichael, Hoagy
Ellington, Mercer
Gershwin, George
Green, Johnny
Jones, Thad
Monk, Thelonious
Rodgers, Richard
Strayhorn, Billy
Tizol, Juan
Warren, Harry
Williams, Cootie
Williams, Spencer
ArrangerPeterson, Oscar
PianoLitton, Andrew

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