Roy Eldridge, Oscar Peterson, Dizzy Gillespie: Take The 'A' Train
Take The 'A' Train
Jazz Maturity (OJC)
Composed by Billy Strayhorn.
Recorded: New York, June 3, 1975
Rating: 96/100 (learn more)
Oscar Peterson's spectacular intro and first statement of the famous musical theme is worth the price of admission by itself; he plays with brilliant timing, creative harmonics, verve, and some perfectly placed behind-the-beat notes, making positively rhapsodic jazz piano lines. Even better news: Eldridge, Gillespie and Peterson continue the great music-making for a full eight minutes before the track ends.
After Oscar's opening lines, Dizzy takes an extended lead with muted trumpet, playing highly creative lines, sometimes punched out, sometimes flowing, and using a varied tonal palette, all of which only occasionally hints at the basic melodic theme, but works wonderfully in its advanced musical expression. Eldridge then takes the lead, effectively accompanied by Ray Brown's walking basslines, in perfect stride; Roy's trumpet carries a huskier tone, sounding more subtle and soulful, with blues slurs adding feeling. Peterson follows with more of his jazzily ravishing piano work, and the trumpets offer further creative virtuoso lines as this track rolls on. Billy Strayhorn's classic tune has again launched impressive, innovative improvisations by genuine masters of the music, in this case with especially great rhythm and momentum.
Reviewer: Dean Alger