Our position: Oscar Peterson's innovations set the standard for...
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#1 Dec 27, 2007
His Jazz was great, but death comes to every one.
#2 Jan 1, 2008
Oscar was from Toronto and became a fixture in upstate NY. I first saw Oscar Petersen in a small club in Rochester N.Y. in the mid 60s. The owner could not believe how quiet and how crowded the club was. No one would leave. The entrance fee was $1.00. Beer was $.50. Mixed drinks were $1.00. I saw him many times and remember him appearing at the Eastman Theater with Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald. What a night. Ella was not feeling well and she went on first and said she was not following Oscar or Duke. When the concert was over Ella came on stage and said she wanted to do some improvisation with what ever musicians would stay. This was extra and for jazz fans it was heaven. Both Oscar and Duke had separate pianos and many of Dukes top sidemen stayed. Ella selected a tune and when it was time for solos Ella just pointed and called their name. The music was outstanding. Duke told Ella he would not follow Oscar but what a great performance. No performer showed ego. It was play your best and up the ante. The musicians had as much fun as the fans. When it ended the high fives among the performers was a sight to behold. I miss them all.
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