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The Clef/Mercury Duo Recordings 1949-1951

Artist: Oscar Peterson
Oscar Peterson - The Clef/Mercury Duo Recordings 1949-1951 CD
Label: Verve
Regular Price: $39.95
On Sale For: $15.98 
Year: 2009
Format: Box Set


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Verve Select uncovers an underappreciated and hardly-compiled segment of pianist Oscar Peterson’s brilliant career – his first U.S. recordings, when he simply played and improvised backed by two of the greatest standup bassists of all time.

Debut is a beautifully rendered 3-CD box set that includes 49 Peterson duo recordings – everything he recorded with Ray Brown, or with Major “Mule” Holley, in the brief period before the introduction of OP’s world-renowned trio format. The set features his early singles – notably “Debut” and the hit “Tenderly” – and all of the tracks that would later be released on the Clef and Verve LPs Tenderly, Keyboard and An Evening With Oscar Peterson, plus duo recordings that were included on the LP Nostalgic Memories (an otherwise quartet album). Deep vault research uncovered a gem as well: an unreleased version of “There’s A Small Hotel.”

Debut begins with Oscar’s literal U.S. debut: a live recording from Carnegie Hall when the 24-year-old pianist performed for American audience for the first time, in September 1949, when he surprised and wowed the crowd. Oscar became Norman Granz’s go-to pianist for his Jazz At The Philharmonic tour, and Disc 1 of the set also includes his return to Carnegie Hall a year later. Newly discovered on the masters for the 1950 set is an discovered unreleased live performance of “Tea For Two.”
Debut has more: the set is housed in exquisite packaging – a 7 3/8” square book reminiscent of classic jazz EPs – that includes extensive liner notes by best-selling author David Ritz, rare photos, reproductions of restored original Clef and Mercury LP and EP cover art, detailed track annotations, a full discography (singles, EPs, 10- and 12- inch LPs), and a chronological “sessionography” with master numbers for serious collectors. Oscar Peterson’s music has also been carefully restored and remastered from the original masters, making this a must-have for music fans.
Oscar Peterson (piano); Ray Brown (bass); Major Holley (bass)
Disc 1
1. Introduction by Norman Granz
2. I Only Have Eyes For You
3. Fine And Dandy
4. Carnegie Blues
5. Gai
6. Padovani
7. Tea For Two (previously unreleased)
Disc 2
1. Debut
2. They Didn’t Believe Me
3. Lover Come Back To Me
4. Where Or When
5. Three O’Clock In The Morning
6. All The Things You Are
7. Tenderly
8. Oscar’s Blues
9. Little White Lies
10. In The Middle Of A Kiss
11. Nameless
12. Two Sleepy People
13. Jumpin’ With Symphony Sid
14. Robbins Nest
15. Tico Tico
16. Get Happy
17. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
18. Deep Purple
19. Exactly Like You
20. I’ll Remember April
21. Easy To Love
22. Taking A Chance On Love
23. Squatty Roo
24. After All

Disc 3
1. Caravan
2. Summer Nocturne
3. Salute To Garner
4. I Get A Kick Out Of You
5. What’s New?
6. Dark Eyes
7. What Is It?
8. The Way You Look Tonight
9. Minor Blues
10. Slow Down
11. How High The Moon
12. The Nearness Of You
13. There’s A Small Hotel (previously unreleased)
14. Lover
15. Fancy Free (Gypsy In My Soul)
16. On The Alamo
17. Lullaby Of The Leaves
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