Oscar Peterson: Soft Winds


Soft Winds


Oscar Peterson (piano)


Great Connection (MPS 06024 9827017)

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Oscar Peterson (piano), Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen (bass), Louis Hayes (drums).

Recorded: Villingen, Germany, October 22, 1971


Rating: 100/100 (learn more)

This is the first recording where Oscar Peterson is paired with Niels-Henning rsted Pedersen, and the backstory involves bassist Ray Brown. At this time, Czech bassist George Mraz was part of the Oscar Peterson Trio, but when an upcoming tour to Europe included Yugoslavia, Mraz told Peterson that he didn't dare go behind the Iron Curtain. Peterson almost panicked at the short notice, and turned to Ray Brown, who recommended the young Dane saying, "He's the only one I know that might keep up with you."

Luckily, NHP was available, and the tour was such a success that Peterson a couple of years later asked him to be a permanent member of his trio. Great Connection is usually not considered among the best of Peterson's trio recordings, but on "Soft Winds" you feel an instant rapport between him and NHP. NHP plays a fine second voice to the theme and admirably answers Peterson's lines in the second chorus. While "Soft Winds" is relaxed, there is nevertheless a perceptible tension throughout, as the trio varies dynamics and achieves an overall great group feeling, making this track the album's finest.

Reviewer: Frank Bachmann Møller

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