Monday, August 22, 2016

Music Education Monday: A master
class with pianist Oscar Peterson

This week for Music Education Monday, you can sit in via video on a master class with the late, great pianist Oscar Peterson (pictured).

One of the most acclaimed and popular jazz pianists of his generation. Peterson, who died at age 72 in 2007, was known as a technical master in the tradition of Art Tatum, capable of executing elaborate flights of pianistic fancy while still retaining the essential elements of blues and swing.

He was best known for working in a trio format, most notably with bassist Ray Brown and drummer Ed Thigpen, and later in his career with guitarist Joe Pass and bassist Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen. Peterson also recorded and performed with many of the major jazz musicians active during his lifetime, including St. Louis' own Clark Terry, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Young, Ben Webster, and numerous others.

He gave this presentation in 1997 in Marciac, France, accompanied by Ørsted Pedersen, drummer Martin Drew, and guitarist Ulf Wakenius. The video, shot by an audience member, isn't exactly professional quality, but if you have some interest in the subject matter, it's worth the effort of adjusting the volume control from time to time to hear what Peterson has to say about developing solos, ensemble playing, arranging, and more.

For those who'd like a little more OP, after the jump you can see a bonus video, a 1995 biographical documentary about Peterson titled Music in the Key of Oscar.

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