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Oscar Peterson – why did those greats disliked him

Alon Marcus

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Just came across this thread as I discovered today that Oscar is coming to the UK for two rare concerts. The only concert outside London is near me and I am thinking of going.

The tickets are expensive £40-£60 and I am wondering if anyone has seen him in concert recently? And would you pay this to see him live?


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No, but that's just me. I like Peterson, got three Trio records, but I'm not a diehard fan.

Yes I have some CD's also and I like what I have listened to, but I would not class myself as a fan. But then again he is OP and I may never get a chance to see him again>


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Where exactly are the UK OP concerts, che?

Sunday 3 July

Legendary jazz pianist Oscar Peterson performs his only concert outside London at The Bridgewater Hall on Sunday 3 July. Oscar Peterson has entertained the world with his mastery and prowess over the piano for the past five decades during which time he has performed with Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington just to name a few. Don’t miss this extraordinary chance to see him in concert.

The Bridgewater Hall is in Manchester I am not sure about the London Concert. Maybe at the Barbican?


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Was he playing one handed on his new Christmas album? jw. He used to be so talented. I remember I was jamming along to a Peterson album and when I came up my uncle asked me if that was Oscar Peterson I was playing. I was like how did you know that. He said his style was just so unique. Pretty impressive.

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I wouldn't pay 40-60 pounds to see Oscar Peterson now, no. Keep in mind he's been really affected in recent years by a stroke--is he still playing one-handed (as he was for a time)?

I saw him once in the 1990s, it was OK but I remember nothing of it.

Thanks for the info.

Here is the line up for the concert I was considering going to:

Sunday 3 July 2005 8.00pm

An evening with Oscar Peterson

Ulf Wakenius guitar

Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen bass

Alvin Queen drums

The universally acclaimed Jazz pianist Oscar Peterson will play his first UK concerts in many years. He will be performing two rare concerts, including one here at the Hall. Peterson has recorded with many of the biggest names in the jazz world, including Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, to name but a few.

Thanks again.


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someone once said (and I am paraphrasing): "the interesting thing about Oscar Peterson is NOT that he makes everything sound easy, but rather equally difficult"


I am one of those who was never moved by his playing. There have been pianists who have also had flash and technique to spare together with an undefinable feeling that the word "soul" insufficiently conveys, e.g. for me, Bud, Phineas, Tete, earlier McCoy,..... but O.P., no. I've spoken to many jazz fans over the years, many of whom agree and of course, many who do not.

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I remember reading somewhere that Miles didn't like Oscar's playing. In his famous downbeat blindfold test Thelonious asks the way to the toilet when Leonard Feather puts Oscar on.

blindfold test by monk

My question is why?

Do you agree with the giants in this case?

Personally I like Peterson very much. Every recording he did before his stroke is a gem. It's true that his playing is flashy but he is fast and brilliant.

So why Miles and Monk didn't like him?

Have you heard other opinions about him (positive and negative)?

I just wanted to say that Monk's style is lightyears away from Peterson's. One guy trying to play as few notes as possible, than you got Peterson, who's rather flashy. And Miles Davis dug Ahmad jamal's use of space, so both probaly just didn't like his style.

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