Jazz CD Reviews
The Oscar Peterson Trio (1964) – We Get Requests – Verve/First Impression Music
Published on July 19, 2009
The Oscar Peterson Trio (1964) – We Get Requests – Verve/First Impression Music K2HD Mastering Series LIM K2HD 032, 40:19 *****:
(Oscar Peterson, piano; Ray Brown, bass; Ed Thigpen, drums)
F.I.M.’s Winston Ma has been able to license tape masters from the archives of Verve Records via new agreements with Universal Music, and this is the first one I’ve had to pleasure to audition. The original LP by the legendary Canadian jazz pianist who passed away in 2007 was one of his best, both musically and sonically. All three musicians were in their prime, playing some of their tunes which their audiences most frequently requested.
The bossa nova craze was in high gear at this time, so two of the tracks are two of those hits: Corcovado and The Girl from Ipanema. There are tunes by hot violinist Stuff Smith, by John Lewis of the MJQ, and by Henry Mancini. The final track of the ten is an original by Peterson. The original liner notes from the LP are reprinted in readable type in the jewel-box-alternate package, which is hard bound like a small book. There are also interesting notes about Peterson and his career, and some pages about the different levels of audiophile reissues produced by F.I.M. – including the Ultimate Disc (UD) Series, which for extremely premium prices takes even more careful steps in production to achieve the highest sonic perfection.
The K2HD discs (which retail for about $35) are all now pressed on 99% silver, whereas the UD discs are pressed on 24K gold. F.I.M. uses mastering engineers at JVC’s Flair Studios in Tokyo, who master the original analog sources to 100 KHz or higher 24-bit digital on hard drives, then use propietary technology to down-sample the digital data to the 44.1K/16-bit CD standard. The enhanced result is hearable on any CD player, and as I reported with the Jazz at the Pawnshop K2HD, can sometimes even surpass the fidelity of SACD.
The only Oscar Peterson audiophile reissue I had at hand was an earlier JVC xrcd effort on the album Oscar Peterson & Dizzy Gillespie, originally recorded a decade later when Peterson had left Verve and was on the Pablo label. It sounded good, but frankly not appreciably better than the original Pablo LPs I have in my collection. As with all the previous K2HD reissues, switching to the F.I.M. disc was a revelation. The sonics were a great deal more transparent and realistic in every way vs. the Peterson xrcd. And sitting in my sweet spot it sounded exactly like one of the 3-channel SACD reissues from RCA or Mercury. I could have sworn my center channel speaker was on! Peterson’s piano was accurately centered there with great impact and power, with Thigpen’s drums on the left channel and Ray Brown over on the right channel. (By the way, this is via my Benchmark D-A processor, but even directly off the analog output of my Oppo player the contrast is just as identifiable – just not quite as transparent.) These reviews are of standard 44.1K CD format – it may be against logic, but they clearly sound like higher-res!
TrackList: You Look Good to Me, Time and Again, My One and Only Love, Corcovado, The Day of Wine and Roses, People, Have You Met Miss Jones?, The Girl from Ipanema, D & E, Goodbye J.D.
– John Sunier