Farewell, Oscar Peterson

Music — December 25, 2007 @ 4:23 am

It’s hard to put into words just how great a pianist Oscar was. I could tell you he was quite possibly the greatest pianist of all time, but such words are trite at best. Perhaps I might, instead, quote the words of the LGF poster “zombie” …

In memory of Oscar Peterson, I dug out the only record I own with him playing on it — a compilation album of “The Greatest Jazz Pianists of All Time.” Even in that elite company, the people who put the album together chose to put Oscar Peterson’s track FIRST on side one, and instantly you can tell why — the guy was unbelievable right out the gate. I had forgotten how talented he was — kind of stunning on one hand, and on the other depressing for all the other would-be pianists out there, because one listen to Oscar Peterson and you know you will never, ever be as good as him, or anywhere close.

You know what, I’ll just let his fingers speak for themselves.

When you’re done, go search for some of his other work on Youtube, like this insanely fast version of the Cubano Chant, or a 1958 performance of A Gal In Gallico.

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Copyright © Ibukun Olumuyiwa 2007.