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Author: Subject: RIP Oscar Peterson

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  posted on 12/24/2007 at 01:50 PM
Amazing piano player.

TORONTO, Ontario (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.

His growing stature was reflected in the admiration of his peers. Duke Ellington referred to him as "Maharajah of the keyboard," while Count Basie once said "Oscar Peterson plays the best ivory box I've ever heard."

"The world has lost an important jazz player," said McCallion. "It isn't just a loss for Canada, he was world famous."

Born on August 15, 1925, in a poor neighborhood southwest of Montreal, Peterson obtained a passion for music from his father. Daniel Peterson, a railway porter and self-taught musician, bestowed his love of music to his five children, offering them a means to escape from poverty.

Oscar Peterson learned to play trumpet and piano at a young age, but after a bout with tuberculosis had to concentrate on the latter.

He became a teen sensation in his native Canada, playing in dance bands and recording in the late 1930s and early 1940s. But he got his real break as a surprise guest at Carnegie Hall in 1949, after which he began touring the United States and Europe.

He quickly made a name for himself as a jazz virtuoso, often compared to piano great Art Tatum, his childhood idol, for his speed and technical skill.

He was also influenced by Nat King Cole, whose Nat King Cole Trio album he considered "a complete musical thesaurus for any aspiring Jazz pianist."

Peterson never stopped calling Canada home despite his growing international reputation. But at times he felt slighted here, where he was occasionally mistaken for a football player, standing at 6 foot 3 and more than 250 pounds.

In 2005 he became the first living person other than a reigning monarch to obtain a commemorative stamp in Canada, where he is jazz royalty, with streets, squares, concert halls and schools named after him.

Peterson suffered a stroke in 1993 that weakened his left hand, but not his passion or drive for music. Within a year he was back on tour, recording "Side By Side" with Itzhak Perlman.

As he grew older, Peterson kept playing and touring, despite worsening arthritis and difficulties walking.

"A jazz player is an instant composer," Peterson once said in a Canadian Broadcasting Corp. interview, while conceding jazz did not have the mass appeal of other musical genres. "You have to think about it, it's an intellectual form," he said.

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 12/24/2007 at 01:59 PM
RIP

 

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  posted on 12/24/2007 at 02:08 PM
Bummer, he was real good

 

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  posted on 12/24/2007 at 02:10 PM
My uncle turned me on to Oscar many years ago and the music is great.

RIP...

 

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  posted on 12/24/2007 at 05:57 PM
Oscar peterson was incredible. I've been listening to him for almost 40 years. he caught my eye early on and always inspired me. He was fast, but he was more than fast, as in melodic and explosive and winging. I have a great album somewhere that is a duet between Oscar and Dizzy Gillespie on the Pablo label. What a lesson in jazz that is. Truly one of my favorite piano players of all time, God Bless ya' Oscar!!

 

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  posted on 12/24/2007 at 06:03 PM
RIP Mr Petersen. Recently has become one of my favoured jazz performers. Sorry to hear of his passing.

 

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  posted on 12/24/2007 at 07:11 PM
a piece of jazz history passed on today!! never had the good fortune to see him live but have so many great recordings, from this musical giant... RIP Oscar...

 

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  posted on 12/24/2007 at 07:48 PM
RIP

One of my favorite pianists......One of the true monsters of that instrument

 

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  posted on 12/24/2007 at 08:21 PM
That certainly sucks. One of the greatest Jazz pianists of all time. Gotta play a little Oscar now. Putting on the great album the Trio with Joe Pass and Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen. Listening now this stuff is AMAZING. If you like Jazz piano you must get this album. Oscar you were a Jazz God. (((((((((Peterson Family)))))))

 

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  posted on 12/24/2007 at 08:47 PM
quote:
Putting on the great album the Trio with Joe Pass and Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen. Listening now this stuff is AMAZING. If you like Jazz piano you must get this album. Oscar you were a Jazz God. (((((((((Peterson Family)))))))


way back in high school that album was my first introduction to the brilliance of oscar peterson. r.i.p. to a true musical icon.

 

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  posted on 12/24/2007 at 11:29 PM
This is sad...I was just listening to his Christmas Jazz the other day. One of my favorite christmas recordings....excellent stuff.

 

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  posted on 12/25/2007 at 10:05 AM
a great loss
 

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  posted on 12/25/2007 at 10:17 AM
R.I.P. Oscar!
 

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  posted on 12/25/2007 at 12:31 PM
Sad to hear this -- I know one musician friend whose hero was Oscar Peterson -- a jazz pianist himself who adored Oscar -- it was through him I first started listening to his records, & a great jazz pianist indeed
RIP Oscar Peterson

 

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  posted on 12/26/2007 at 08:04 PM
Many years ago, I was privileged to hear both Oscar Pererson and Ella Fitzgerald perform at Chastain Park in Atlanta. Quite simply, one of the best musical experiences of my life. So much talent, all on one stage.
May he rest in peace - and thanks for the music!
Willie Howard (from Mayberryetta, a suburb of Hot'lanta)

 

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  posted on 12/26/2007 at 08:12 PM
RIP Oscar Peterson ... one of the greats

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02ogyvI5GM8&feature=related

 

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