Oscar Peterson: Night Train


Happy-Go-Lucky Local (a.k.a. Night Train)


Oscar Peterson (piano)


Night Train (Verve 314 521 440)

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Oscar Peterson (piano), Ray Brown (bass), Ed Thigpen (drums).

Composed by Duke Ellington (as “Happy-Go-Lucky Local”)


Recorded: Los Angeles, December 16, 1962


Rating: 94/100 (learn more)

To these ears, this version of “Happy-Go-Lucky Local” – or “Night Train,” whatever you want to call it – is the finest thing Oscar Peterson ever immortalized on vinyl. The midtempo boogie is a dream of a jazz trio performance. It swings, it’s got a great melody, and the musicians play with understated elegance. Peterson wrests some heartfelt blues expressions out of the piano, and his glissandos make you want to shout. Ray Brown – the consummate sideman – walks the bass up and down, while Ed Thigpen swings lightly on the drums. The interplay is seamless; these guys play like one brain controlling six arms. Go ahead and try to find a smoother ride from a trio than “Night Train.”

Reviewer: Steve Greenlee

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