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Oscar Peterson Trio: Live at the Blue Note: The Complete Recordings, March 16-18, 1990

In March of 1990, Oscar Peterson played a two-week engagement at the Blue Note in New York with a group billed as the Oscar Peterson Trio, even though it contained four players. Peterson was on piano, Ray Brown was on bass, Herb Ellis was on guitar and Bobby Durham was on drums. The billing was no doubt intended to capitalize on the fact that Peterson, Brown and Ellis had been one of the most popular jazz trios of the 1950s. The three had rarely played together between 1958 and this 1990 New York gig.

Telarc, a successful classical label just breaking into jazz at the time, recorded the last three nights of the engagement. Over the next two years, music from each night was released on individual CDs: The Legendary Oscar Peterson Trio Live at the Blue Note, Saturday Night at the Blue Note and Last Call at the Blue Note. Telarc took one last pass in 1993, with Encore at the Blue Note, a selection of “other fine moments” from the three nights. The first two albums won Grammy trophies. In late 2004, Telarc reissued this material in a four-CD set. You will look in vain for previously unissued tracks or remastering. But you get four CDs for the price of two, a very slick slip case (all four-CD sets should be packaged this way) and new liner notes by Alyn Shipton, jazz critic for the Times of London.

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