OSCAR PETERSON, UNMISTAKABLE


Pianist Oscar Peterson was a formidable leader, a masterful soloist and stride pianist, in whatever group configuration he chose whether by himself or fronting an orchestra. Legendary may be a word that’s tossed around freely, but it genuinely applied to OP.  “Unmistakable” (Sony Masterworks) has a unique distinction of being subjected to the Zenph re-mastering process. Combining algorithms with audio alchemy, Zenph Re-Performance took original audio recordings – solo recordings that Peterson made in the mid 80’s in his home studio – and turned them back into live performances through software that recreates the DNA of Peterson’s playing style in all its permutations (dynamic range, his physical imprint on the keys, his pedaling).

“Unmistakable” is a clever title, and the music is undeniably in the upper tier of the pianist’s body of work with glorious ruminations on “Body and Soul,” “In A Sentimental Mood,” “Con Alma” and a medley of Duke Ellington tunes.  The set of eight tunes is played twice, once in a two-channel stereo format and then repeated in sequence as a binaural stereo version, designed for listening on the best cans you have as the “ultimate headphone experience.” The recording is brilliant as if OP is playing in front of you, but that’s the idea and it’s awesome.  (16 tracks; 78 minutes)

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JAZZ IN SPACE: OSCAR PETERSON, UNMISTAKABLE

Saturday, December 3, 2011

OSCAR PETERSON, UNMISTAKABLE


Pianist Oscar Peterson was a formidable leader, a masterful soloist and stride pianist, in whatever group configuration he chose whether by himself or fronting an orchestra. Legendary may be a word that’s tossed around freely, but it genuinely applied to OP.  “Unmistakable” (Sony Masterworks) has a unique distinction of being subjected to the Zenph re-mastering process. Combining algorithms with audio alchemy, Zenph Re-Performance took original audio recordings – solo recordings that Peterson made in the mid 80’s in his home studio – and turned them back into live performances through software that recreates the DNA of Peterson’s playing style in all its permutations (dynamic range, his physical imprint on the keys, his pedaling).

“Unmistakable” is a clever title, and the music is undeniably in the upper tier of the pianist’s body of work with glorious ruminations on “Body and Soul,” “In A Sentimental Mood,” “Con Alma” and a medley of Duke Ellington tunes.  The set of eight tunes is played twice, once in a two-channel stereo format and then repeated in sequence as a binaural stereo version, designed for listening on the best cans you have as the “ultimate headphone experience.” The recording is brilliant as if OP is playing in front of you, but that’s the idea and it’s awesome.  (16 tracks; 78 minutes)

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