Oscar Peterson – In Memorium

Oscar PetersonJazz legend Oscar Peterson passed away today at the age of 82 in his home in Toronto from kidney failure.

While many of us don’t remember Oscar Peterson as a fantastic swing musician in the vein of Ellington, Basie or Ella, he has worked with many of them. Basie once described him as one who “plays the best ivory box I’ve ever heard”. His most reknowned album is probably Night Train and he began recording in 1950 on Verve with Tenderly. He worked most often in small groups or trios with musicians like Ray Brown, Ed Thigpen, and Herb Ellis. He was also featured on NPR’s Jazz Profiles, here.  His obituary found here.

He grew up in Montreal only a few blocks from where I live in the district of St-Henri and Montreal feels a close association with a jazz player that will be dearly missed.

Here is a recording of the Oscar Peterson Trio, featuring Herb Ellis on guitar, Ray Brown on bass, and Peterson on piano, playing A Gal in Gallico.

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