[Dixielandjazz] Oscar Peterson - DVD-A Night In Vienna

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Wed Dec 28 14:50:36 PST 2005

Got the Peterson "A Night In Vienna" DVD for Christmas from a friend who
grew up with him in Toronto and introduced me to him in the 1950's. Recorded
by Verve, live at the Musikverien, Goldener Saal in 2003 with Niels-Henning
Orsted Pederson, bass; Ulf Wakenius, guitar, and Martin Drew, drums. It was
for Bosendorfer's 175 gala anniversary. (OP played on Bosendorfer)

Didn't look at it till today because I remember Peterson as a warm, vibrant
young genius in the 1950s. Who played OKOM as well as progressive jazz. He
was 78 in 2003, and was still somewhat hampered  from a stroke, as well as
arthritis. Remembering the DJML thread about old guys who stay on stage too
long, I was afraid to be disappointed, wanting to remember him as he was.

Well, I was stunned. Sure, he shuffled a bit to the stage, and his left hand
is not what it was, nor is his right hand, BUT he plays up a storm of
creative jazz, writes wonderful tunes, and you would be amazed at Sweet
Georgia Brown, though many might not like it or hear the melody in the
beginning when he trades chorus's with Wakenius. But some will.

And Niels-Henning Orsted Pederson surely puts to rest the view that bass
players should be felt and not heard, and not solo. His intonation is
gorgeous and his timing is superb, as is his creativity. I would dearly love
to play in a group with him on bass, if only for a minute . . . WOW.

Ulf Wakenius sure gets around that amplified guitar. One stunning, creative
performance after another.

And Martin Drew makes traps look easy as he plays complex rhythms, solos
well and also puts to rest the view that constant ride cymbal sucks. He does
it all quite tastefully.

The photography is marvelous, the 11 songs are excellent, and if anything,
this DVD is a reminder, to me at least, that many of the conventions that we
hear about jazz are just so much blowing in the wind.

It is a masterful performance by Oscar Peterson, one of the last great Jazz
Masters alive, in a stunning setting along with 3 other jazz artists.

On Verve DVD, Oscar Peterson, A Night In Vienna. Capped by an ovation at the
end of the concert that will also knock your socks off.


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