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Oscar Peterson

Oscar Emmanuel Peterson

Pianist, Bandleader, Composer, Educator

(1925 - 2007)

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Home or Tribute Pages:

 
oscarpeterson.com
 

Biographies:

 
allaboutjazz.com
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Wikipedia
archives.cbc.ca
thecanadianencyclopedia.com
DownBeat.com
jazzscript.co.uk
who2.com
 

Articles:

 
Postage stamp at news.gc.ca
Profile at allaboutjazz.com
Interview at npr.org
Audio interview at google.com
Obit at nytimes.com
Obit at msnbc.msn.com
Obit at bbc.co.uk
Obit at telegraph.co.uk
Obit at allaboutjazz.com (1)
Obit at allaboutjazz.com (2)
 

Discographies:

 
ucdavis.edu
jazzdisco.org
home.ica.net/
 

Other:

 
Videos at google.com
Audio/video at ilike.com
Oscar Peterson Concert Hall at c...
Audio profile at bbc.co.uk
Audio interview at wnyc.org
Audio profile at npr.org
Video at youtube.com
 

The word “virtuoso” can sometimes be bandied about too freely, but in the case of pianist Oscar Peterson, it is perfectly descriptive yet it’s been a source of criticism. Jazz critic Whitney Balliet once said in reviewing a live performance, “The ‘virtuoso’ sign flashed incessantly....”

Peterson enjoyed a long and successful career, winning many prestigious, international awards, including a concert hall named for him in his home town. Born into a musical family in Montreal, Canada, on August 15, 1925, the fourth of five children, he left high school to become a professional musician with the admonition by his father “...not to be another piano player, but to be the best.”

His big break came when Norman Granz presented him at the 1949 Jazz at the Philharmonic in Carnegie Hall. The following year Peterson won the Down Beat reader’s poll, the first of several wins through 1967. By the late ‘50s his was the highest paid jazz trio in the world, according to Gene Lees, author of Oscar Peterson: The Will to Swing.

The first of the famous Peterson trios was comprised of bassist Ray Brown and guitarist Herb Ellis. They toured and recorded extensively under Granz who would be Peterson’s manager for over 30 years. Tired of the road, Ellis left after six years, and Peterson, feeling that the guitarist was irreplaceable, decided to hire a drummer. Ed Thigpen and Brown made up the second remarkable Peterson trio which, again, lasted for six years. Toward the end of 1965, the trio disbanded. After a 15-year musical partnership, Brown was ready to settle in California for awhile, and Thigpen moved to Denmark. Peterson continued a rigorous performance schedule with stellar musicians such as guitarist Joe Pass, bassist Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen, and Ella Fitzgerald.

During the sixties Peterson played several private parties for German millionaire Hans Georg Brunner-Scher, who later released the tapes on his record label MPS. Peterson, considers these solo albums among his best. Unfortunately, legal problems blocked the release of some of the recordings. In the meantime rock ‘n’ roll overwhelmed the music industry, and a disgusted Granz decided to form his own label, Pablo, to record deserving jazz artists. One of the first releases in 1964 was The Oscar Peterson Trio: Live in Tokyo.

During his long career as an internationally respected pianist, Peterson exerted an influence on musicians beyond just pianists. What sets Peterson apart, says Lees, is his embodiment of “the vast emotional and technical range of the instrument.... I consider him one of the greatest pianists not only in jazz history but in all musical history, from the time Bach tempered the keyboard.”

Peterson suffered a stroke in 1993 which damaged his left hand, but he determinedly came back to perform again. In 2005 he was honored with a commemorative stamp in Canada. He died on December 23, 2007.

--Sandra Burlingame


The Oscar Peterson Trio at the Stratford Shakespearean Festival

Oscar Peterson Trio



The Trio

Oscar Peterson With Joe Pass and Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen



Oscar Peterson Trio Live at the Blue Note

Oscar Peterson, Herb Ellis, Ray Brown



Night Train

Oscar Peterson Trio



Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 15: JATP Lausanne 1953

Oscar Peterson, Ella Fitzgerald



Stan Getz & The Oscar Peterson Trio: The Silver Collection

Stan Getz



Lester Young with Oscar Peterson Trio

Lester Young, Oscar Peterson Trio



Oscar Peterson Plays The George Gershwin Songbook

Oscar Peterson



Oscar Peterson Plays the Cole Porter Songbook

Oscar Peterson



At Zardi's

Oscar Peterson



Oscar Peterson Christmas

Oscar Peterson



Marian Mcpartland's Piano Jazz

Oscar Peterson



The Trio

Oscar Peterson
Reading and Viewing

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Oscar Peterson

Jazz Odyssey: The Life of Oscar Peterson

Continuum


Oscar Peterson

The Very Best of Oscar Peterson: Piano Artist Transcriptions

Hal Leonard Corporation


Oscar Peterson

Oscar Peterson Note for Note

PG Music Inc.


Oscar Peterson

Oscar Peterson - Jazz Exercises, Minuets, Etudes and Pieces for Piano

Hal Leonard Corporation


Gene Rizzo

Best of Jazz Piano: A Step-by-Step Breakdown of the Piano Styles and Techniques of Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson, and Other

Hal Leonard Corporation


Oscar Peterson

Oscar Peterson Plays Duke Ellington: Piano Artist Transcriptions

Hal Leonard Corporation


Oscar Peterson

Oscar Peterson Plays Broadway

Hal Leonard Corporation


Oscar Peterson

Oscar Peterson Originals: Transcriptions, Lead Sheets and Performance Notes (Artist Transcriptions S.)

Hal Leonard Corporation


Oscar Peterson

Oscar Peterson Trios

Hal Leonard Corporation


Gene Lees

Oscar Peterson, Updated Edition: The Will to Swing

Cooper Square Press


Various

DownBeat - The Great Jazz Interviews (A 75th Anniversary Anthology) (Book)

Hal Leonard


Various

Down Beat: Sixty Years of Jazz

Hal Leonard Corporation


Oscar Peterson, Clark Terry, Ray Brown, Ed Thigpen

Jazz Icons: Oscar Peterson - Live in ‘63, ‘64 & ‘65

NAXOS OF AMERICA DVD

DVD


Oscar Peterson Trio

The Berlin Concert

Inakustic Gmbh

DVD


Oscar Peterson Trio

Norman Granz Jazz In Montreux Presents Oscar Peterson Trio '77

Eagle Vision USA

DVD


Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Ray Brown Jr., Harry Edison, Norma Miller

Ella Fitzgerald - Something to Live For

Winstar

DVD


Oscar Peterson Trio

Norman Granz Jazz in Montreux Presents Oscar Peterson Solo '75

Eagle Vision USA

DVD


Oscar Peterson

A Night in Vienna

Verve

DVD


Oscar Peterson

Oscar Peterson: Music in the Key of Oscar

View Inc.

DVD


Oscar Trio Peterson

London Concert 1964

DVD


Oscar Peterson

Music in the Key of Oscar

View Video

VHS


Oscar Peterson

London: 1964

Vidjazz

VHS


Oscar Peterson

Life of Oscar Peterson

View Video

VHS

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