After the legendary “Exclusively For My Friends” recordings, the partnership between Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer and the Canadian piano giant continued; nine new albums followed between 1969 and 1971. Walking The Line was recorded in the middle of this end-phase of their work together. Hubertus Mall’s impressive cover drawing of Peterson is an added bonus to the album. Peterson, bassist Georg Mraz, and drummer Ray Price are perfectly attuned to one another, while the pianist has sought out an original repertoire, framed by two Cole Porter Classics. With its richly colored harmonies and unwavering dynamics, an infectious exuberance flows through I Love You. On through to the final note, All of You celebrates Peterson’s vibrant feel for medium-tempo swing. The three musicians twice proffer a tip of the hat French composer Michel Legrand. The Canadian breaks up the otherwise languorous atmosphere of The Windmills of Your Mind with a breathtaking series of sparkling 16th notes. Legrand’s Once Upon a Summertime reveals Peterson’s lyrical side with an impressionistic, meditative harmonic arrangement. It finds a meditative brother in the veiled melancholy of I Didn’t Know What Time It Was. Peterson creates the biggest surprise with his irresistible, highly charged version of the gospel Rock of Ages – and Jiři Mraz finds space for a singing intermezzo.
Listen to the Oscar Peterson Essentials playlist: https://VA.lnk.to/OscarPeterson