Oscar Peterson / Anita O'Day

Decades: 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s


15 August 1925, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, d. 23 December 2007, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Blessed with an attractive stage personality, this behemoth of mainstream jazz’s fluid technique was influenced by Art Tatum, Errol Garner and, later, George Shearing. After studying trumpet, illness redirected Peterson to the piano. His enthusiasm resulted in endless hours of practice that helped to mould his remarkable ‘butterfly’ technique. In his mid-teens, after winning a local talent contest in 1940, Peterson was heard regularly on radio in Canada and beyond. By 1944, he was the featured pianist with the nationally famous Johnny Holmes Orchestra before leading his own trio. Peterson was unusual in not serving an apprenticeship as an older player’s sideman. Although early recordings were disappointing, he received lucrative offers to appear in the USA but these were resisted until a debut at New York’s Carnegie Hall with Norman Granz’s...

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