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Oscar Peterson: Oscar in Paris

Recorded at the Salle Pleyel in June 1996, this two-CD set finds Peterson in typically buoyant form. The pianist’s huge sense of swing gets an extra kick from guitarist Lorne Lofsky, bassist Niels-Henning rsted Pedersen and drummer Martin Drew. The international group (two Canadians, one Dane and one Englishman) covers nine Peterson originals and four standards.

Rodgers and Hart’s “Falling in Love with Love” sets the tone of the discs: Lofsky cooks effervescently, Peterson’s lines groove and scamper with boundless drive, Pedersen walks some of the fattest, most resonant lines in the business and Drew draws it all together. (Similar examples include the pianist’s “Sushi” and “Kelly’s Blues.”) On the ballad side, Peterson’s exposition of his “She Has Gone” is a reminder of his ability to create a romantic late-night mood through restrained tinkling treble lines. Peterson has recorded prolifically throughout his career; this uplifting set maintains his high standards of technique and swing.

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