Although he claimed not to take himself seriously as a vocalist, Astaire loved jazz and jazz musicians, which is hardly surprising, since there is quite a bit of a jazz element in his tap dancing. And he actually had a particularly soft spot for a record project that he did for Verve at the request of label owner Norman Granz, entitled The Astaire Story. In his autobiography, Steps in Time, Astaire recalls these sessions with a mixture of delight and admiration for the musicians with whom he worked: "I found this [album] a most interesting and enjoyable job as Oscar Peterson, Alvin Stoller, Flip Phillips, Charles Shavers, Barney Kessel, Ray Brown and I cut these discs spontaneously on the spot without any prearranged orchestrations. This album, called The Astaire Story, with limited printings, became prominent in the collectors' item category" (301).
|Oscar Peterson at the piano|