Oscar Peterson: Things Ain't What They Used to Be

Track

Things Ain't What They Used to Be

Artist

Oscar Peterson (piano)

CD

Night Train (Verve 8538)

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Musicians:

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

Composed by Mercer Ellington & Ted Persons

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Recorded: Los Angeles, December 16, 1962

Albumcoveroscarpeterson-nighttrain

Rating: 92/100 (learn more)

Miles Davis once famously suggested that Oscar Peterson sounded like he had to learn how to play the blues. To which I reply: dang, he certainly learned 'em. There are flashier blues by Peterson available on the marketplace—for example, check out "Blues Etude" if you want fireworks. But this version of "Things Ain't What They Used to Be" shows that this pianist could also play a more subdued blues. This is Oscar in a Basie vein, just strutting over the changes. Bassist Ray Brown does not solo, but you will be forgiven if you find yourself focusing on his walking lines, as reliable as Greenwich Mean Time, and much, much hipper. The piano trio has changed a lot since this band recorded Night Train, but this music is timeless.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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Oscar Peterson (1925-2007) by Ted Gioia


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