Oscar Peterson – The Jazz Soul Of Oscar Peterson (1959) and Night Train (1962). Peterson’s piano graces many of my jazz albums, but these are the only two I have with his name on the cover. Both are excellent, although I don’t find either to be quite as transcendent as the best of the best. This is almost definitely a failing on my part, not Peterson's.
Osvaldo Golijov – Oceana (with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Kronos Quartet, and Dawn Upshaw, 2007). Like jazz, modern compositional music, especially opera, is another place where I lack a decent vocabulary. This is lovely, powerful music, though, although I like the instrumental Kronos Quartet piece “Tenebrae” best.
Otis Redding – Pain In My Heart (1964), The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads (1965), Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul (1965), The Soul Album (1966), The Dictionary Of Soul (1966), King And Queen (with Carla Thomas, 1967), Otis Redding At Monterey Pop (1967), The Dock Of The Bay (1968), The Immortal Otis Redding (1968), Love Man (1969), Tell The Truth (1970), The Otis Redding Story (released 1989). There is a reason that this man receives such reverence from R&B fans. It doesn’t hurt that he has Booker T. & The MGs backing him up (and a quick RIP to Donald Duck Dunn), but Otis Redding pours himself into these songs like whiskey into an old-fashioned. My favorite single is “Knock On Wood,” because I’m helpless before the building horns on the intro, but there’s no way to say that this one will still be my favorite in five minutes. They’re all as sweet and tangy as the best old-fashioned anyone ever made.
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