Friday, November 4, 2016

Oscar Pettiford & Attila Zoller - 1959 - The Legendary Oscar Pettiford featuring Attilla Zoller

Oscar Pettiford & Attila Zoller 
The Legendary Oscar Pettiford featuring Attilla Zoller

01. Cohn's Limit 4:32
02. The Gentle Art of Love 6:47
03. All the Things You Are 3:58
04. Vienna Blues 4:43
05. Oscar's Blues 7:27
06. Stardust 6:10
07. Blues in the Closet 5:17

Oscar Pettiford: bass, cello
Hans Koller: tenor saxophone
Attila Zoller: guitar, bass
Jimmy Pratt: drums

Man-o-Man ... there’s one sure way to know that you love a record, and that’s instantly wanting more as soon as it’s over.  Case in point, this 1959 gem from cellist and bassist Oscar Pettiford, sounding for all the world like a Joan Miro painting come to life, swinging ever so gracefully and warmly, refusing to knock you back, yet smoothly holding your attention like a loving parent lulling a child to sleep ... and more, to dream.

Dying young, and often overlooked, the man is a virtual who’s who when it comes to artists he’s played with.  Yet ask nearly any jazz aficionado for a top ten, or even a top twenty-five list, and I seriously doubt that Oscar Pettiford will be among them.  And that’s a down right shame.  Certainly one could make the argument that bassists don’t gain the attention or notoriety, they seldom have scorching solos, or manifest a demanding stage presence, nor does their instrument get the respect it deserves.  Most people only think of baselines as holding down the foundations of the rhythm, an aspect that merely moves the music forward, relying on more well known instruments to shine and command the adulation.  But you need to forget all of those concepts, you need to spin on your heels, you need to hear Oscar lay down solid lines of brilliant eloquence and a musical movement that any musician would aspire to.

In a word, this album is “understated” and “brilliant”.  Alright, that’s two words, and I would love to write thousands, anything to get you to hear this quiet restrained masterpiece, where a true genius does so much more with so much less.  Had Oscar’s life not been so short, we might find him rubbing shoulders with the likes of Ray Brown or Milt Hinton ... but the truth of the matter is that we have been graced with mere moments of music from this great artist.  So please, don’t miss a single one of them.