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Oscar Peterson: Unmistakable

Zenph's incredible technology reanimates the artistry of another deceased master

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Oscar Peterson
Oscar Peterson
Oscar Peterson

The prevailing irony of this disc is that it makes Oscar Peterson’s piano playing seem more corporeal than ever, as though we were in the room with him, never mind that these recordings, strictly speaking, aren’t by him. Although, from another point of view, they are. Rather heady, eh?

Things tend to get a bit tricky when it comes to these Zenph “Re-performance” productions. Basically, some pretty impressive technology transforms earlier recordings-in this instance, unreleased Peterson performances from the 1970s and 1980s-into new recordings that distill exactly what one would have heard in the performer’s presence when fingers were brought to bear on keys. So it’s both realer than real and not quite real at the same time. But there’s no faulting the full-on purity of the sound quality-you rarely hear music this clean-and how successfully it enhances Peterson’s performance, which is about as tour-de-force as tour-de-force gets.

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