Yet Another December Departure

26 Dec

Oscar Peterson (1925-2007)

Christened the “Maharaja of the Keyboard” by Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson was one of the greats of Jazz. He was admired and respected by Ray Charles, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald and other Jazz royalty as the top “piano player” in the business. Oscar passed away on December 23rd at the age of 82 after suffering a stroke nearly fifteen years ago. He eventually fought the paralysis of his left side to play again up until a severe decline in his health this year.

A Montreal native, Peterson created the Oscar Peterson Trio in the early ’50, consisting of himself, Ray Brown (eventual husband of Ella Fitzgerald), and Charlie Smith. The players in the trio changed over the years with several being white. The desegregated trios caused quite a stir in the racially charged times, but Oscar proved that music can cross any barriers.

Peterson is a member of the International Jazz Hall of Fame and in 1997, was presented with a Grammy for Lifetime Achievement. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest — if not the greatest — jazz pianist ever.

News Report of his death:


Live at Newport

Sweet Lorraine, with Coleman Hawkins & Nat “King” Cole

An Intimate Evening with Oscar

Duel with Herbie Hancock

It Don’t Mean a Thing with Ella Fitzgerald


Posted by on December 26, 2007 in jazz, memorials


5 responses to “Yet Another December Departure

  1. Colette

    December 26, 2007 at 7:57 pm

    Thank you for all the Oscar! Really loved hearing that great, great player.

    That last cut, with Ella, is one of those great Norman Granz concerts with a million jazz all-stars from the 1950s — it has Oscar at the keyboard, and the fantastic Duke Ellington violinist Stuff Smith take some solos.

    This is wonderful stuff, MM. I hope your readers can appreciate the greatness of such classic jazz artists in the wonderful panorama of great American music…….it’s all a big, gorgeous continuum!

  2. music maven

    December 26, 2007 at 8:33 pm

    Yes, Colette, I agree with you. Jazz really doesn’t get it’s due. I’ll have to work on a Jazz primer as a post. You know…a little Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk, Sarah Vaughn, etc.

    Good idea, Colette.

  3. thedingoateyobaby

    December 28, 2007 at 8:38 pm

    THAT was awesome. Thank you a gazillion times for posting all of this music and these vids. I was at my computer for a long time lost in the moment. Thanks again.

  4. morewines

    January 7, 2008 at 10:06 pm

    MM I would like to offer some suggestions.
    Gerald Albright. I saw him at the San Jose
    Jazz Festival 2007.
    Here’s the video. Kind of distorted at the
    beginning but gets better.
    If you watch the entire video you will also get
    see Charlie Musslewhite. I know he’s not Jazz.

    It was a great festival. I have gone for the
    last two years and intend to go again this

    You might also enjoy this!/712/534712_1_03.asx?auth=daEaDcFdub4dRa8bTdAcibedObaahdIbub5-bhGUkc-Ci-jfbec&aifp=1234&obj=v50907
    This is Brian Gallagher. Some of you may remember who he is. This is track number 3
    on Rare Requests Vol. 4: Smooth Jazz CD.

    I went to a see George Benson and Al Jureau
    concert last summer. George Benson stoled the

    I was fortunate enough to win tickets to
    see Bruce Hornsby at the
    Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco
    this summer as well. He was touring
    his new CD Camp Meeting. Straigt ahead Jazz.
    To bad some of the crowd was looking for
    Bruce Hornsby and The Range. They kept
    asking by paper notes tossed on the stage
    to shouting out for Mandoline Rain.
    He clearly wasn’t happy about it.

  5. morewines

    January 8, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    Sorry Maven. Here’s the link to the video of Gerald Albright and Charlie Musslewhite.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: