In Memory of Oscar Peterson who passed away December 23, 2007

by HART (1-800-HART) on December 29, 2007 · 4 comments

in In Memory Of,Music That I Like

call HART crazy .. but

When I grew up, I took piano lessons. I went as far as actually taking Grade 8 Royal Conservatory. After that, I felt that it took more time for me to practice than I was getting better and then concentrated on the Theory side of music. I remember a “grade V” but by the time I was in my 20’s and going to University, I went a different direction. Firstly, I tried to capitalize on getting “easy credits” by taking music courses at University, and then I just concentrated on playing keyboards in local bands and friends’ jamming in basements, and outdoor “pit parties” out in the country where I had lived with a few buddies of mine.

Two piano players had a great influence on me … The first was Fats Domino. who I actually met while working at a local cabaret here in Winnipeg (on Kennedy Street for other Winnipeger’s who remember that) and Oscar Peterson. My piano teacher and I ended up to be great acquaintances, and somewhat friends .. and although he tried to show me some of the greater classical pianists that would come to our Concert Hall .. I would make for him some “cassette” copies of both Fats and Oscar songs that I made from my record collection and he even appreciated both (I believe).

Oscar Peterson

oscar-peterson-wpg-sun-photo.jpgIt was actually Oscar Peterson’s music that made me realize that I just did NOT have it in me to a true piano player. His music is heavily into Swing and Improvisation and *MAN* I wish I could play that way. Unfortunately, I am more of those people who play to written sheet music, than just improvise as I go along. I mean, I can play pretty much all the Supertramp and Doors and songs like that – but, it sounds like the Supertramp or Doors music .. because I went out and bought the books and learned all of the songs that I wanted to play. When I heard last Sunday that he passed away .. I have to admit .. I was a little choked up. I mean, it is sad.

Oscar Peterson was a great Canadian and even offered to be Governor General of Ontario once (according to Wikipedia) and there was even a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s office about the passing of Oscar Peterson.

The image above is from the Winnipeg Sun who wrote an article remembering Oscar Peterson but there are a lot of news and entries around the ‘net. If you visit the official Oscar Peterson Website, the family is asking for those who would like to make donations .. to please make them to World Vision or Christian Children’s Fund in honour of Oscar Peterson.

My favorite album was the Oscar Peterson Trio – Live at the Blue Note Theater album .. and here are two songs for your listening enjoyment:

Sweet Georgia Brown – From the Live at the Blue Note Theater album

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Falling In Love With Love – From the Encore from the Blue Note Theater album

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If you get a chance to listen to his music, or wish to buy his music from Amazon etc … also consider his “Play” and “Songbook” series .. that was a good era and and enjoyable to listen to.

In memory of all Entertainers who passed away in 2007

There were a lot of great entertainers and artists who passed away in 2007, and so far .. the best list I have found was from the “What’s On Winnipeg” site ..

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Majik December 30, 2007 at 12:25 am

Very interesting post. An excellent memorial for a great musician! I must admit that piano is not my favourite instruments to play, but I respect those that can tickle the ivory. Its a shame he won’t be giving us more of his talented work, but we still can enjoy the music he leaves behind.

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HART (1-800-HART) December 30, 2007 at 12:28 am

Hi Majik! Thanks for dropping by ๐Ÿ™‚ I think you hit it on the head of the nail .. we can still enjoy the music and the legend lives on~!

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Tony Hogan March 25, 2008 at 3:18 am

I love the arrangement of Falling in Love with Love. There were many tremendous recordings on the Blue Note albums. The guitar break is nice as well. He quotes Charlie Christian in the middle. The bass break is nice to and also the way that Oscar Peterson almost sounds like two piano players at some point after the bass solo. The piano part is gorgeous when he works his way back into the tune at about 8.38 or so.

I’m not sure who the guitar player is on Sweet Georgia, very fast player.

I wasn’t aware that Oscar Peterson had died, thanks for the post.

I like the Canadian guitar player Ed Bickert, he’s one of the best I’ve ever heard. I’m not sure he’s famous outside of Canada though.

Nice stuff.

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HART (1-800-HART) March 25, 2008 at 12:00 pm

Hi Tony .. thanks for breaking it down that way .. it really adds to this post the way you analyze the music! It was great seeing clips of past concerts (on Bravo or PBS) around the time of his death that that showcased his talent. It may SOUND like two pianos at times .. but it was just him!

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