Oscar Peterson: Girl Talk

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As JazzWax readers know, I'm fairly picky about my Oscar Peterson albums. I find the pianist most spectacular when the song choices are spot-on and he's completely in the pocket and swinging. In other words, when I suddenly realize my right foot is tapping. Girl Talk is one of those Peterson albums. The second volume in the German MPS label's “Exclusively for My Friends" compilation series, Girl Talk was recorded between 1965and 1968 and released in '68. The series was culled from private concerts in front of a small audience at the home studio of Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer, owner of MPS.

Songs on the album were a snappy “On a Clear Day;" a marathon “I'm in the Mood for Love" taken as a ballad and running 17:22 in length; a bluesy “Girl Talk;" a medley of “I Concentrate on You" and “Moon River", and a rollicking “Robbins' Nest “with a walking bass line. Bassist Ray Brown is on “Robbins' Nest" and “I Concentrate on You/Moon River"; Sam Jones is on bass on “I'm in the Mood for Love"; Bobby Durham plays drums on “On a Clear Day;" drummer Louis Hayes is on “I'm In The Mood For Love", “Robbins' Nest" and “I Concentrate On You"/"Moon River".

While one might question whether the songs chosen for the medley were ideal, the other tracks are so juicy and robust that the album is irresistible. And the truth is that in the spring, when it rains in New York like it did last night, I cherish Oscar Peterson.

Oscar Peterson died in 2007 at 82.

JazzWax tracks: You'll find Oscar Peterson's Girl Talk here.

JazzWax clip: Here's the complete Girl Talk...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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