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Reviewers: Don Mather, Marc Bridle, Ian Lace, Peter Woolf, Colin Clarke

A Canadian Suite
Oscar Peterson Quartet
Michel Legrand Strings
Oscar Petersen - Piano Ulf Wakenius - Guitar Niels Henning-Orsted Pedersen - Bass Martin Drew - drums Michel Legrand - Conductor The Michel Legrand Strings Composed by Oscar Peterson Arranged and Conducted by Michel Legrand

  1. Open Spaces

  2. Morning in Newfoundland

  3. The Okanagan Valley

  4. Dancetron

  5. Ballad to P.E.I

  6. Cookin' on the Trail

  7. Banff the Beautiful

  8. Lonesome Prairie

  9. The French Fiddler

  10. Harcourt Nights

  11. Manitoba Minuet

  12. Anthem to a New Land

At the end of the sleeve note Michel Legrand says, "Make silence around you, close your eyes and enjoy". How right he is, this collaboration of musical giants is destined to be around for a very long time if sufficient people ever get to hear it. Our airwaves are clogged up with music from 'play lists' and albums like this sometimes go unheard. If that were to happen to this work it would be a crime, music of this quality should be 'put on prescription' for people to listen to for at least half an hour a day! I certainly found it enormously uplifting and if proof is needed that good jazz does not need to be ugly and discordant, here it is. The Petersen Quartet swings like mad all the way through, just as the trio with Neils and Martin has always done. We have a great tendency in the UK to under rate our own musicians, Martin Drew is a world class Drummer and a worthy successor to the likes of Ed Thigpen. Neils is probably the world's No1 Bass Player, but many I am sure would give that honour to Ray Brown, I find it hard to choose, they are both so good. Oscar Peterson has to be the No1 jazz pianist of all time, no one swings in the way he does and so consistently.

The music was recorded in Ontario, Canada on April 12 and 13, 2000, the string players came from the Toronto Symphony and there is no mismatch here between the jazz musicians and the straight men. Michel Legrand has done a superb job as Musical Director and prevented that happening. His scoring for the strings is also of the highest order; they help the overall feel of this descriptive musical journey enormously. Trial of dreams consists of twelve 'sound scapes' which depict the Trans Canada Trail. Whether they are good descriptors of the various regions, I don't know because I have never had the pleasure of a visit, but I sure would like to!

The music is without doubt of the best, the themes, though each one was written by Oscar for this album are all easy to become familiar with and the music very accessible.

If you had any record tokens for Christmas, buy this album with them, if you didn't
Buy it anyway, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

Don Mather

Don Mather is a Saxophone Player and Bandleader in Coventry

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