[JPL] Oscar Peterson RIP

Jae Sinnett jaejazz at yahoo.com
Mon Dec 24 14:44:47 EST 2007

Oh man...Oscar. Stunning really but the generation has been disappearing right before our eyes. This is huge. Oscar...just the name. I remember working with Herb Ellis and talking with him about Oscar. He said he never "felt" anything like that from any other musician. Oscar's power and his gentleness. His extraordinary technique was obvious but it's knowing when and how to use it that made him special. When I listen to the "Exclusively For My Friends" box set...I know exactly what Herb was talking about. The piano playing on that collection defines who he was as a pianist. Besides Tatum he was the only pianist that ever left me speechless after some of his performances. "Sandy's Blues" is one of them. 
Jae Sinnett

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Thanks, Len. The CBC story is here: 

Yes, indeed. The gentle giant has moved on. I met him in the 60s 
when I was lucky enough to be doing live broadcasts from a club (The 
Penthouse) where he played once or twice a year. The first OP trio I 
heard there was the one with Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen. I was impressed 
that someone who played with such power was such a gentle-man in all 
ways. I was sitting with him at the bar between sets one night when a 
drunk stumbled and fell... and the first person on his feet to help him 
up was Oscar Peterson.

I knew then it was a special privilege to be in the presence of such 
jaw-dropping greatness, and the audience knew it then, too. The club 
always had a line down the block for each set each night of his ten day 
runs. Later performances in the the 3000 seat Opera House were also 
sold out, and so were recent performances at Jazz Alley in Seattle. 
Again, I was allowed the honor of introducing him. I was always very 
moved by the experience, especially so this last time when he left his 
walker at stage left and ever so slowly made his way to the bench 
without it, holding on to the piano all the way with his warm smile 
greeting a standing ovation before he played a note! I still get a 
lump in the throat thinking about it.

He remains one of the most impressive musicians I've ever met or heard.

Jim Wilke
Jazz After Hours, PRI

On Monday, December 24, 2007, at 09:57 AM, Len Dobbin wrote:
> What was a rumour yesterday is today a fact - Dorothee Berryman just 
> called to tell me that Radio Canada have confirmed that Oscar has in 
> fact passed on.
> Len


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