Oscar Peterson: Wheatland




Oscar Peterson (piano)


Canadiana Suite (Japanese Import 9087)

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

Composed by Oscar Peterson


Recorded: New York, September 9, 1964


Rating: 98/100 (learn more)

When you listen to Oscar Peterson's eight brilliant compositions that comprise his Canadiana Suite, you may wonder why he wasn't a more prolific composer. It was no doubt his love of Canada that inspired him here, just as his father's career as a railway porter who traveled the length of that vast country guided the Suite's structure, crossing from East to West, vividly depicting unique locales and regions.

"Wheatland" is Peterson's view of Canada's breadbasket, and his finely crafted melody over a waltz rhythm presents a clear image of the majesty of giant wheat fields blowing in the wind, as viewed through the window of a passing train. As Peterson solos, with that perfect touch and his distinctive flowing lines, not a note wasted, one marvels at this trio's special rapport, with Brown's simple yet totally fitting bassline, and Thigpen's distinguished brushwork supporting the pianist with great sensitivity. Brown's long, lyrical solo is almost a separate composition in itself, structured so logically and alone worthy of repeated listens.

This was Peterson's second great trio, formed when Thigpen replaced Herb Ellis in 1959, and with Canadiana Suite they produced a masterpiece.

Reviewer: Scott Albin

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