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Oscar Peterson: An Oscar Peterson Christmas

Artist: Oscar Peterson
Title Of Album: An Oscar Peterson Christmas
Year Of Release: 1995
Label: Telarc
Genre: Jazz
Type: CD
Quality: MP3
Bitrate: 320 kbps
Total Time: 52:46
Total Size: 116 MB


Oscar Peterson takes it easy during his relaxed set. He had not completely recovered from his stroke but he was still an impressive pianist. Peterson, who is assisted by guitarist Lorne Lofsky, bassist David Young, and drummer Jerry Fuller, is joined by a 20-piece string section arranged and conducted by Rick Wilkins. The 14 holiday tunes (which include "God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman," "White Christmas," "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas") are given tasteful and lightly swinging treatments and there are guest appearances by vibraphonist Dave Samuels and flugelhornist Jack Schantz. But no real surprises or chancestaking occurs and the music is mostly just pleasant.
by Scott Yanow

TRACKLIST
01. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen (3:26)
02. What Child Iis This? (4:49)
03. Let it Snow (3:42)
04. White Christmas (3:51)
05. Jingle Bells (3:17)
06. I’ll Be Home For Christmas (2:49)
07. Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (3:31)
08. O Little Town of Bethlehem (3:17)
09. Christmas Waltz (6:54)
10. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (3:59)
11. Silent Night (3:10)
12. Winter Wonderland (4:10)
13. Away in a Manger (3:36)
14. O Christmas Tree (2:15)


Personnel
Oscar Peterson – piano
Dave Samuels – vibraphone
Jack Schantz – flugelhorn
Lorne Lofsky – guitar
David Young – double bass
Jerry Fuller – drums
String orchestra conducted and arranged by Rick Wilkins


Like a delicious holiday turkey, An Oscar Peterson Christmas is nothing fancy, but easy to digest and something to look forward to every year. The legendary Canadian pianist works his way through fourteen Christmas standards with a quartet featuring Lorne Lofsky on guitar, Dave Young on bass and Jerry Fuller on drums. Guesting on a couple of tracks each are Dave Samuels on vibraphone and Jack Schantz on flugelhorn.
Arranger Rick Wilkins sweetens a few of the tracks with a string ensemble that is for the most part unobtrusive, but adds some colour to what Peterson and his cohorts are doing.
So what features characterize Christmas, Oscar Peterson-style?
Fun
On many tracks, Peterson locks into a lightly swinging, finger-snapping groove that casts even usually melancholic songs like “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” in an upbeat light. He also fashions some of the tunes with nicely arranged introductions, such as a bewitching repetitive figure on “Jingle Bells,” and something straight out the book of Miles Davis on “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” Solo space for both Peterson and Lofsky is limited, but both make the most of it, especially when they dig into the changes on “Winter Wonderland.”
Reverence
While Peterson and the band sound like they’re having a ball throughout most of the album, the moments of levity are broken up by flashes of seriousness. A leisurely tempo is adopted for the Sinatra chestnut “The Christmas Waltz,” as well as “White Christmas” and this choice results in two moving ballad performances. For many of the album’s traditional carols, Peterson just concentrates on melody and forgoes any improvising. This very un-jazz like approach only really works on “Silent Night” and tends to bog down an album which is primarily upbeat.
On the surface, fun and reverence seem to be contradictory, but both emotions are rooted deeply in the Christmas season. It is a time to draw near to friends and family and to break away from the hustle-and-bustle of the rat race. But, it is also a time to reflect and count blessings. Intentionally or not, Peterson has created an album that captures both emotions.
By ROBERT GILBERT,
Published: December 22, 2002

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Artist: Michael Buble
Title Of Album: Christmas (Deluxe Special Edition)
Year Of Release: 2012
Label: Worner Bros
Genre: Vocal, Christmas, Easy Listening
Type: CD
Quality: MP3
Bitrate: 320 kbps
Total Time: 65
Total Size: 147,9 MB

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