Tuesday, December 25, 2007

R.I.P. Oscar Peterson


Scatbug put me on to Oscar Peterson just recently and it was a pleasant discovery. Before then, Peterson had just been a jazz name that I'd heard but never really looked into. Unfortunately, just as I was learning about him, he has passed:

TORONTO (AP) — Oscar Peterson, whose early talent and speedy fingers made him one of the world's best known jazz pianists, died at age 82.

His death was confirmed by Hazel McCallion, mayor of Mississauga, Ontario, the Toronto suburb where Peterson lived. McCallion told The Associated Press that he died of kidney failure but that she did not know when. The hospital and police refused to comment.

"He's been going downhill in the last few months, slowing up," McCallion said, calling Peterson a "very close friend."

During an illustrious career spanning seven decades, Peterson played with some of the biggest names in jazz, including Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie and Dizzy Gillespie. He is also remembered for touring in a trio with Ray Brown on bass and Herb Ellis on guitar in the 1950s.

Peterson's impressive collection of awards include all of Canada's highest honors, such as the Order of Canada, as well as a Lifetime Grammy (1997) and a spot in the International Jazz Hall of Fame.


While the men and women may no longer be with us, the music will stay forever. Peterson has a lengthy back catalog of music. Check it out.

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