The Oscar Peterson Trio, melding the great Canadian pianist with guitarist Joe Pass and bassist Neils-Henning Orsted Pedersen, has been together for a dozen years now. "The Good Life" (Pablo Live 2308-241) captures one of their earliest gigs, at Chicago's London House in 1973. Not surprisingly, it's Peterson's awesome Tatum-esque technique that dominates: The empathy, like the percussion, is implied here but not yet realized. Best cuts are "Wheatland," part of Peterson's "Canadiana" suite (it reveals him as both a lyrical composer and astute improvisor); a speedy reading of "On a Clear Day" that is sheer buoyancy; and a lush and languid version of "The Good Life." Peterson, the most widely recorded pianist in jazz, is at Charlie's Georgetown through Sunday. -- Richard Harrington.
ALL THIS JAZZ
Washington may not have a Kool Jazz Festival, but the Capital City Jazz Festival slated for the Convention center June 7 and 8 sounds pretty cool itself. A joint venture of WPFW- FM and Capital City Jazz Festivals Inc., a nonprofit educational and service organization created for this event, the festival will feature Miles Davis, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, World Saxophone Quartet, Max Roach and the M'Boom Percussion Ensemble, Philly Joe Jones and Dameronia and the Howard University Jazz Repertory Orchestra with Buck Hill and Charlie Young. There will also be an exhibition of paintings by Miles Davis, a jazz marketplace and various symposia.
ON THE FLIP SIDE
Nils Lofgren, who's been a part of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band for almost a year now, is about to release his first solo album for Columbia. Titled "Flip" -- the cover is a sequential photo of the athletic Lofgren in one of his patented guitar-with-trampoline turns -- was recorded during Springsteen's New Year's break and features some old friends (bassist Wornell Jones and drummer Andy Newmark) and former Dixie Dregs keyboardist T. Lavitz. Look for Springsteen at RFK Stadium later this summer, probably in early August, as his popularity drives him from "smaller" venues like the Capital Centre.
THE GAYE LIFE
Washington's Marvin Gaye is being celebrated in many ways more than a year after his death: Two biographies have come out in the last month (the better is "Divided Soul" by David Ritz). CBS is about to release an album featuring the tracks Gaye was working on at the time of his death, and another album featuring him doing pop standards. He's the inspiration of two current singles on the pop charts, by the Commodores and Diana Ross. And the Ibex on Georgia Avenue has named one of its rooms in his honor.