Oscar Peterson (1925-2007) was a legendary jazz pianist, who unlike many of his contemporaries focused on a melodic approach. His classical influences and technical ability allowed him to find commercial acceptance outside of jazz music.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The Singers unlimited was a jazz vocal group led by singer/producer Gene Puerling. His ability to combine their voices into a virtual choir was amazing given the technology of the early 1970s.

Peterson's strongest albums were usually recorded as a trio. Here, he is accompanied by bassist Jiri Mraz and drummer Louis Hayes. What is different is he departs from the norm and records with a vocal group with the result being a collaborative effort released in 1971.

In Tune is a quiet and in many ways a subtle album. The flash is provided by the vocal harmonies, but it is Peterson's playing that provides the substance. The material may not be as challenging as during his classic period, but his playing is smooth and effortless.

"Sesame Street" is the album opener where the two different styles of the trio and vocals come together and set the tone for what will follow. "Once Upon A Summertime" is a simple ballad with vocalist Bonnie Herman. "The Shadow Of Your Smile" finds Peterson knowing when not to intrude on the vocals but to act a supporting musician.

Oscar Peterson is recognized as one of the unique and great jazz pianists of the last half of the 20th century. Any of his Verve recordings is a must for the jazz aficionado. However, if you want something a little different from Peterson, In Tune is a good place to start.

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