Oscar Peterson Exclusively For My Friends on 180g 6LP Box Set
Private Recordings Made Between 1963-1968 Form the Centerpiece of Any Oscar Peterson Collection: Mastered AAA from the Original Master Tapes and Pressed at Optimal for Incredible Audiophile Sound
Includes Action, Girl Talk, The Way I Really Play, My Favorite Instrument, Mellow Mood & Travelin' On
MPS was a mecca for Oscar Peterson and a host of talented young European discoveries. Situated in Villingen, in Germany’s Black Forest region, for some two decades MPS Records and studios wrote pioneering jazz history through its high-level recording technique and unmistakable aesthetic. Today the “most perfect sound made in the Black Forest” continues to light up the ears of analogue fans worldwide.
The label’s actual birth was in 1968, but it had a colorful prelude that entails the famous initials HGBS. As co-owner of the electronics manufacturer SABA, Industrialist Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer (HGBS) was not only an ardent audio engineer; he was also an amateur pianist who was crazy about music. In 1958 he built a recording studio above the living room in his villa. It contained the most sophisticated audio equipment available at that time.
When Oscar Peterson came to Zurich to perform a concert in 1961, Brunner-Schwer lured him to his villa, and the first house concert in the Black Forest. The Canadian was so impressed by HGBS’s recording of the concert (“I never heard myself like this before...”), that he decided to come back every year for a another living room session.
Meanwhile, starting in 1963 HGBS began to produce records under the label name SABA. The recordings included pianists Wolfgang Dauner and Horst Jankowski. George Duke also appeared as guest for the first time in 1966. When Brunner-Schwer left SABA in 1968, he founded MPS (Musik Produktion Schwarzwald (Black Forest)) Records. The Peterson recordings were the first release under the new name – this became possible since Peterson had finished his contract with Verve. It was the beginning of an illustrious catalogue which contained over 500 releases by 1982.
Exclusively for My Friends is generally regarded as the heart of every Oscar Peterson collection. Peterson even raved that the MPS recordings, mainly due to the intimate atmosphere of inclusion in Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer's living room and his perfection and sensitivity as a sound engineer and producer, brought out the revered pianist's best.
The resulting 1963-1968 private concert recordings are the impressive result of the long friendship between the exceptional Canadian pianist and the Black Forest label owners. The recordings serve to document Peterson’s exquisite playing style in high profile trios as well as Brunner-Schwer’s keenness to create the best possible sound characteristics.
The AAA pressing of the complete audiophile edition is carried out on six 180 gram virgin-vinyl discs. The sound of the original analog master tapes was carefully optimized in a pure analogue mastering process to free them from their traces of aging. As a result MPS succeeds in meeting the highest audiophile standards found today!
Oscar Peterson, piano
Ray Brown, bass
Sam Jones, bass
Ed Thigpen, drums
Louis Hayes, drums
Bobby Durham, drums
True to the Original:
• Records in first edition style of MPS
• Adaptation of the original gatefolds
• Including all additional pages & accompanying texts
• Vinyl labels modeled from the originals
• Gatefolds with glossy varnish finish
180 Gram Virgin Vinyl:
• Removal of all traces of aging from original MPS tapes
• Meticulous analog optimizing of the tapes
• Faithfullness to the original recording
• Analog lacquer cutting from the remastered tapes