Oscar Peterson – The Composer

Oscar Peterson Oscar Peterson
The Composer

(Telarc – 2000)
by Paula Edelstein

Pianist and composer Oscar Peterson has been commissioned by MusicCanadaMusique 2000, a multi-million dollar Millennium celebration under the artistic directorship of Nicholas Goldschmidt, to create TRAIL OF DREAMS: A CANADIAN SUITE. His work along with commissioned works by more than sixty Canadian musicians covering a wide variety of musical genres, received the financial support from Commission Patron Ernst & Young and Commission Benefactor Ontario Power Generation. Telarc Jazz has released the twelve compositions Oscar Peterson composed for TRAIL OF DREAMS: A CANADIAN SUITE that were inspired by the 16,000 kilometer coast-to-coast recreation trail. Its scenic landscapes translate to musical depictions and concepts that portray the beauty and emotions of people, places, and wildlife; of glacial peaks, emerging dawns and setting suns – an overall commune with nature and its scenes that span the Eastern shores of the island province of Newfoundland all the way west to Okanagan Valley in British Columbia!

Oscar Peterson was born in Montreal, Canada and he’s a Canadian through and through! It’s great to know that his country supports his artistic endeavors and gives him the respect that he so rightly deserves. Working with the award-winning conductor and arranger, Michel Legrand, the listener is immediately immersed in selections that recreate the naturalness of the beauty and kindness of Canada. The music evokes the imagery that is, by its very nature, a powerful communiqué. “The Okanagan Valley,” “Dancetron,” “Ballad to P.E.I.” are among the graceful, peaceful, folk jazz and tranquil ballads that convey the essence of Peterson’s inspiration. He burns on the piano solo on “Dancetron” and shows none of his 75 years! Accompanied by the Oscar Peterson Quartet: Ulf Wakenius on guitar, Niels Henning-Ørsted Pederson on bass, Martin Drews on drums, and The Michel Legrand Strings, Mr. Oscar Peterson adds his trail of dreams, his memories, his compositional integrity and sophistication to an extensive repertoire of 200 recordings with the same strengths he exhibits in his brilliant playing.

With seven Grammy awards, the Glenn Gould Prize, and the prestigious Japanese Praemium Imperiale Award, among others to his credit, the genius of Oscar Peterson cannot be measured or underrated. With TRAIL OF DREAMS: A CANADIAN SUITE, this prized, ambitious project commissioned by MusicCanadaMusique, Oscar Peterson has allied the art of music with the art of nature through a remarkable use of tone color, the harmonics of string instruments, and his great piano stylings to impact an implosion of sonics that relay his twelve tone poems to an appreciative audience. Absolutely beautiful Mr. Peterson!

Other Oscar Peterson recordings include A SUMMER NIGHT IN MUNICH, THE MORE I SEE YOU, AN OSCAR PETERSON CHRISTMAS, A TRIBUTE TO OSCAR PETERSON, LIVE AT THE TOWN HALL. For more information about the great Oscar Peterson, interact with him at http://www.telarc.com