Friday, May 6, 2011

Plan B - Oscar Peterson

We pianists can be eccentric.  Musically self-sufficient - takes longer to get bored playing solo on a piano than on an instrument that can only play one note at a time (I would think, anyway).  Not portable - guitarists can take their instrument to the park or wherever the other humans are.  Yeah, we can be real weird, locked in the garret with our 88-key orchestra.

It was one of the oddest pianists I ever met who introduced me to the music of Oscar Peterson.  Must have been freshman year, because we were in the dorms.  He pulled out a CD and insisted, in his vaguely Slavic accent (my friends and I never could pinpoint his country of origin or sexual orientation, and he never deigned to clarify), that I had to listen to this.  "This" was Oscar Peterson Live. 

"Bach's Blues", what!?!?   It was Bach, but it was blues!  It was the real thing - jazz - but it had roots in "real", respectable, classical music.  To us weird maverick classical pianists, it was a little rebellious, but still safe to respect because it had Bach's name on it.  It was like being told you can have tiramisu for Communion, and it still counts.

So - I downloaded "Every Time We Say Goodbye" from the album Oscar Peterson Plays the Cole Porter Songbook (and subsequently, the rest of the album), and started playing along yesterday afternoon. Plan B, commence!

1 comment:

  1. When I was playing jazz on the radio, I would sometimes get a mood where I wanted to hear fat chords (instead of notes, you know). In those cases, I always reached for Oscar Peterson first.