Oscar Peterson 15 Aug 1925 – 23 Dec 2007
Last night in Toronto my hero died of a kidney failure.
Oscar Peterson was considered by many as the greatest jazz piano player ever. I’ll tell you why.
Listening to jazz music can be a bit hard to the untrained ear. Some people get lost in the beat (where’s the one?) or the form. What Peterson always did was lending a helping hand. Whenever a moment like that was about to happen, he could play something like no one else could, as if he was saying: ‘Don’t you worry, we are exactly here in the story, now follow along and we are going to have some more fun’.
As a young piano-student I had this big poster of him and his enormous hands hanging in my bedroom. I played numerous albums over and over and over and over again. His ‘Hymn to Freedom’ is after 20 years still on my funeral wishlist.
Up to this day whenever a live recording from O.P. is on the radio, a smile instantly appears on my face. Sort of a natural high.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to put this album on repeat…