A Time for Love (Live in Helsinki, 1987) / Oscar Peterson Quartet
For nearly 80 years, legacy has been the spinal cord of the glorious jazz tradition – but maybe never more so to its fans than during these challenging days of the pandemic. Unable to hear music in person, all of us have only been able to access new music through technology, resulting in many looking back upon what may have been missed. But when one can look back on something that is at the same time entirely new, that is a special situation. And when that something new is coming from jazz immortal Oscar Peterson...even more so. And that is exactly what is in hand with A Time for Love: The Oscar Peterson Quartet – Live in Helsinki, 1987 from Two Lions/Mack Avenue Records.
From this perspective alone, this is a momentous album – but it is far more than that. The final gig of a long international tour that began with 4 concerts in Brazil, this date was the 14th of a European tour that took the quartet all over mainland Europe and Scandinavia. Anyone with any knowledge of jazz knows that the magic of consistent performing only makes the synergy and empathy of an ensemble – both substances this quartet has in mind-blowing quantity – better and better. That always dwarfs the fatigue factor, and sometimes results in sheer magic on a different plane. That’s clearly what happened during this spectacular concert. As Kelly Peterson says: “Performing with joy and vivacity, they determined to make every concert better than the previous one. This night in Helsinki is a glorious example of that” – and a stunning addition to the continuing legacy of this beloved master of music.
"The program this night was a doubleheader: a full set of Peterson’s original compositions, another of standards. The former’s centerpiece is the 20-minute Salute to Bach (a.k.a. 'The Bach Suite'). The real peak is the high-speed Sushi, which begins at a boil and stays there. On the standards disc, unaccompanied pieces provide the finest moments; Peterson’s thoughtful Waltz for Debby forms a soft one-two punch with guitarist Joe Pass's’ exquisite When You Wish Upon a Star.
"...A Time for Love is as solid a package as there is."
-- JazzTimes (Michael J. West)
Release Date: November 26, 2021
Catalog Number: MAC1151
Label: Mack Avenue
Number of Discs: 2
Composer: Oscar Peterson