Goodbye, Oscar Peterson


I don't know much about him—just that I bought a copy of Encore at the Blue Note many years ago and it's a heck of a good album. Here's a clip of the man at work:

Peterson died of kidney failure on Sunday, at age 82. Rest in peace.

NEXT: End of the Neocon Century?

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  1. Oh yeah. Note this guy but no mention of Max Roach’s passing.

    The discrimination against drummers continues. You know, for a magazine called…

  2. A drummer, sick of all the drummer jokes, decides to change his instrument. After some thought, he decides on the accordion. So he goes to the music store and says to the owner, “I’d like to look at the accordions, please.”

    The owner gestures to a shelf in the corner and says “All our accordions are over there.”

    After browsing, the drummer says, “I think I’d like the big red one in the corner.”

    The store owner looks at him and says, “You’re a drummer, aren’t you?”

    The drummer, crestfallen, says, “How did you know?”

    The store owner says, “That `big red accordion’ is the radiator.”

  3. Q: How do you make a drummer stop drumming?
    A: Put some sheet music in front of him!

  4. Kidding aside, that’s truly some stunning piano work – thanks for the clip!

  5. Awe-inspiring. Thank you.

  6. Sometime a few months ago, YouTube suddenly had an amazing array of world-class musical performances to choose from.


  7. Died of kidney failure? You mean it was not the GWB stem cell research policy?

    oops, wrong website

  8. I had no idea about Max Roach. Why on earth did they leave him out?

    I grew up listening to Oscar Peterson. I always thought one day I’d get around to seeing him perform. Amazing musician.

  9. Peterson was the first of the few jazz musicians I actually listened to (most of it is too “out there” for me).

    A wonderful artist, and a masterful technician.

  10. Peterson was the “house” pianist for Verve back in the early fifties and recorded literally hundreds of albums with Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Young, Stan Getz, etc. before becoming famous in his own right. He made a great deal of money playing tediously “funky” blues for white college boys, but he could play excellently when he wanted to. In his heart he was a Gershwin guy, but he had to conceal that, just a bit, to avoid alienating both the critics and the fans, who wanted jazz to be “authentic” (i.e., not white).

  11. I had no idea about Max Roach. Why on earth did they leave him out?

    I also had no idea that he had died. Which is why I left him out. RIP, Max Roach.

  12. Meanwhile, Bhutto has bhutted-out, permanently. We now return you to your original programming.

  13. Following on the news from ed:Bhutto murder. Can her vistims still recover damages or was that Swiss trial just a bunch of eyewash?

  14. I first heard about Oscar Peterson when I was a lad reading an interview where he was praised by Keith Emerson(!). The only good result of my mid-70s ELP phase.

  15. I could never quite get into Art Tatum. He was just a little to esoteric for me. But Oscar Patterson had much more of a feel for pop hooks and melody. He was amazing. Sorry to see him go. Too bad I never got to see him live.

  16. I saw the Oscar Peterson Trio on the hangar deck of the USS Kittyhawk in the Tonkin Gulf in the sping of 1968. I don’t know if they flew in the piano or not. It was a big part of introducing me to jazz. I do remember that I enjoyed that concert.

  17. I also had no idea that he had died. Which is why I left him out. RIP, Max Roach.

    I will come to your defense and point out that Max Roach died over four months ago.

    On a side note, if you aren’t that familiar with Oscar Peterson, I recommend checking out either his “Night Train” album or “Very Tall,” which his trio recorded with Milt Jackson. I saw the dude around 2000 and it was amazing. Took him about ten minutes to walk across the stage to the piano, but once he sat down…

  18. Possibly the best pianist in the history of the instrument.
    God bless the man. I’ll miss him.

  19. I will come to your defense and point out that Max Roach died over four months ago.

    Yeah…if it was recent I would have done another post, but at this point it’s too late.

  20. Ah, Oscar is one of my favorite jazz pianists. The comment about Gershwin was apt. OP did seem to lean that way, and that’s not a bad way. It’s much better than most of the avant-garde jazz crap that helped ruin the art form.

    Great playing, always. A fine sense of melody, which he does not lose even amidst the “noodling around.” A harmonic sense that tended to be pretty old-fashioned. I think of his style as Dry Romanticism.

    Some of the best runs since Mozart.

  21. JW

    It’s never to late to commemorate an artist.

    It’s never too soon to forget a statesman dead politician.

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