Tuesday, December 25, 2007

On the Passing of Oscar Peterson

As many of you may know, Oscar Peterson passed away yesterday at the age of 82.
Peterson was one of the most powerful and gifted among the jazz and pop pianists of our time.
He was born and raised in Canada, where during childhood his father insisted upon a strict and well formulated piano development in classical music, which Oscar received, and we hear the classical techniques inculcated in virtually everything he recorded throughout his career.
As a pianist, Oscar may well be thought of as second only to the fabled Art Tatum. From my perspective, his finger articulation was essentially equal to Tatum's. The primary difference was that however brilliant Peterson's improvisational passages were, Tatum's were more protracted. Personally, I do not know how Tatum's pianism can ever be exceeded.
But Peterson will always be held in admiration by his followers as one of the true greats.
Both as a musician and gentleman, Oscar Peterson will be missed by his admirers from all over the world.

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