Oscar Peterson: Blues for Big Scotia
Blues for Big Scotia
Oscar Peterson (piano)
Bursting Out with the All-Star Big Band + Swinging Brass (Verve 314 529 699-2)
and a thirteen piece band arranged by Russell Garcia.
Composed by Oscar Peterson.
Recorded: Hollywood, November 5, 1959
Rating: 96/100 (learn more)
Putdown master Miles Davis once said Oscar Peterson "had to learn to play the blues," as if other jazzmen sprang from mother's womb crying “Now’s the Time.” Besides, whether his blues was innate, studied or bought for $1 at W.C. Handy's garage sale, most pianists would trade their autographed picture of Meade Lux Lewis to play like Oscar on "Blues for Big Scotia." Less obsessively decorative than usual, Peterson is no less impressive. His powerful, 2-handed rolling tremolos are oceanic, crashing onshore with tsunami force. At the end, one expects Count Basie to float by, cheerfully exhorting "One more time!"
Caveat: In 1996, Verve reissued Bursting Out with the All-Star Big Band! (1962) and Swinging Brass (1959) as a CD twofer, using the same Bursting Out fireworks cover art as their 1990 CD reissue of Bursting Out by itself, and thus confusing consumers looking for Swinging Brass. Both albums featured the Oscar Peterson Trio in a big-band context, and each contained a respective version of "Blues for Big Scotia." The 1962 track is longer (nearly six minutes), but this review relates specifically to the shorter (<4 minutes), and we think superior, track from 1959.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz
If you liked this track, also check out
- Oscar Peterson: Night Train
- Oscar Peterson: Okie Blues
- Phineas Newborn: The Midnight Sun Will Never Set
Oscar Peterson (1925-2007) by Ted Gioia