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Jazz Piano Books and How Oscar Peterson fits in.


CEB

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I was looking and some book and CD sets put out by Hal Leonard. It is the Style series.

 

Most of these books start with a history and overview of Jazz styles. They work through a general history of Jazz and mention the great players of the particular Jazz style.

 

None of these books mention Oscar Peterson in the Jazz overview sections.

 

Do I overestimate the contributions of Oscar to the evolution of Jazz Piano?

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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Really? (!) :o

Don't know who's writing that overviews of jazz piano history for Hal Leonard Publishing, but I think that's a BIG omission.

Even though Oscar Peterson is not one of my favourites jazz piano players (he's great, but I'm more into the contemporary-oriented jazz piano), there's no doubt he deserves his place in the jazz piano Olympus...

 

So, answering your question: No, you don't overestimate O.Peterson contributions, I think the writer at Hal Leonard UNDERestimate the talent of M. Peterson.. That's not cool.

 

I would have expected some injustice with Wynton Kelly or Phineas Newborn Jr.(great players usually underestimated), but not with Oscar!!

 

 

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I'm not sure Oscar Peterson contributed much to the "evolution" of jazz piano, that wasn't already thoroughly covered by Art Tatum (except for bringing some elements of classical romantic harmonization into his jazz playing)..

 

I'm not "dissing" the greatness of Oscar Peterson in any way, he was a brilliant pianist and arguably had some of the most legendary technique on the planet, but he wasn't very notable as a composer, nor did really take the piano in any new directions.

 

Was he one of the greatest pianists that ever lived? Absolutely.

 

Do I think he was a jazz pioneer with contributions to the idiom (and particularly the piano) the way Monk, Ellington, Evans, Tatum, Powell or even Herbie Hancock was? Personally, for me, no.

 

As a pure "jazz pianist", he was nearly without equal, and that certainly counts for something!

 

CEB, as far as you "overestimating" Oscar's contributions, I think that's a very "personal" thing, as if you have taken something from Oscar Peterson, that you didn't get from anyone else, then from your perspective, he provided a contribution that really impacted you.

 

I never had such enlightenment from Oscar, but Bill Evans (on the other hand) changed my musical life.

 

YMMV.

Yamaha C7 Grand, My Hammonds: '57 B3, '54 C2, '42 BC, '40 D, '05 XK3 Pro System, Kawai MP9000, Fender Rhodes Mk I 73, Yamaha CP33, Motif ES6, Nord Electro 2, Minimoog Voyager & Model D, Korg MS10
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Oscar was the guy that made me want to play Jazz. Oscar and Bill Evans were propbably my two biggest influences. Since I strated with Oscar that may have been the difference he formed my base.

 

I like Chick and I really like Herbie's electric stuff.

 

The thing with Chick and of latin influenced Jazz is, though I am fan and like to listen, I don't have a drop of latin blood in my body. :laugh:

 

I have a hard time getting latin polyrhythms.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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Do I overestimate the contributions of Oscar to the evolution of Jazz Piano?

 

Meisenhower said it well.

 

For me Oscar was a big influence and was early on one of my absolute jazz piano favorites.

 

But now after years of studying jazz and my tastes maturing, I have to come realize that Oscar wasn't one of those that changed the course of jazz piano evolution all that dramatically. He did have significant contributions. He's amazing, and he swings like a mother effer. There are a handful of lines, licks and 'Oscarisms' that are all his own and have indeed influenced those that came after him. His ability to weave unbroken blusey bop tinged lines of thousands of 8th notes is incredible to me. He also was one of the pioneers of the piano trio.

 

But his influence on the evolution of the idiom as a whole was not that of an Art Tatum, a Herbie Hancock, a Thelonius Monk, a Bud Powell or a Bill Evans.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

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But his influence on the evolution of the idiom as a whole was not that of a, Art Tatum, a Herbie Hancock, a Thelonius Monk, a Bud Powell or a Bill Evans.

 

Herbie Hancock?

 

p.s.

Surprisingly we often prefer to listen more those who had "less" influence on jazz evolution...

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But his influence on the evolution of the idiom as a whole was not that of a, Art Tatum, a Herbie Hancock, a Thelonius Monk, a Bud Powell or a Bill Evans.

 

Herbie Hancock?

 

Seriously? Of course.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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1st off..Herbie, hell yes..pickup Miles 4 or More..listen to a young Herbie simply tearin it to pieces. Pikup any BlueNote lp w/Herbie on it..Not only is he 1 of the baddest, but theres a lot to learn from the man. Notice how he stays relevant to the times?

He changes with the music, and in his way, changes the music.

 

Oscar to me is giant..I feel he transformed that idiom and presented it in a way much different than his predecessors.

 

But back to the op, there are Oscar books available..I have some really old ones, but was surprised to see somewhere that they are still available. Not sure where I saw that.

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But back to the op, there are Oscar books available..I have some really old ones, but was surprised to see somewhere that they are still available. Not sure where I saw that.

 

Yup, for example this one: Jazz Exercises.

"You'll never be as good as you could have been, but you can always be better than you are." - MoKen
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Who is going to learn how to play like Oscar Peterson from a Hal Leonard book? OP took Art Tatum's style and refined and expanded on it. He was a monster player with taste. Anybody who can get those chops and style out of a Hal Leonard book, please post your you-tube and tell us what book we need to study. :thu:
"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
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Who is going to learn how to play like Oscar Peterson from a Hal Leonard book? OP took Art Tatum's style and refined and expanded on it. He was a monster player with taste. Anybody who can get those chops and style out of a Hal Leonard book, please post your you-tube and tell us what book we need to study. :thu:

 

Hate to sound snarky, but I did. The first piece in this book is a great transcription of Oscar's classic recording of 'C Jam Blues'. I have studied the living crap out of it and completely looted this piece alone for dozens of licks that are very much a part of my vocabulary now.

 

That's not to say that I claim to be an heavy Oscar authority or to approach him even remotely with talent or technique. Nor that I don't also own the recording of this piece and listen to it a lot. But the book helped man. You don't NEED the book, but it sure helped me.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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Did anyone catch Herbie and Oscar play together a few decades back before Oscars stroke? Each played solo then together. Oscar's technique was so overpowering while trading eights that at one point Herbie just looked at the audience like how do I answer that? The cat swung like hell.
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Damn Id love to see that, is it on YouTube?

 

Whether Oscar evolved jazz piano or not is completely irrelevant to me.

 

There was only one Oscar, and what Oscar did, no living person has been able to replicate. The thing about Oscar isn't only his mammoth technique, its the fact that when you hear Oscar Peterson play, invariably, at some point...you smile... You grin... you chuckle, you turn to your loved one or whomever and you say, "Hahahahaha, soooo amazing!!!!", and briefly, for a moment in your life of drudgery, pain and misery, you are truly happy. Music is communication, and Oscar had a special soul which he shared with the world. It seems to have been a joyful, and wonderful soul for to be touched by it has been such an important moment for so many musicians and fans.

 

 

 

There are a handful of Jazz musicians who have that effect on the casual listener, I willing to bet that some great evolutionary figures in Jazz don't bring that kind of pure happiness to their listeners. Oscar, Louis and a handful of others (feel free to say who?) had something the others didn't have, I call it magic!

 

 

We are all slave's to our brain chemistry!

 

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I did see Oscar a few times dating to the 60's. Monster player.I was about 10 years old and I would sit outside the London House at the matinee performance and listen to the greats including Oscar. He inspispired me to play the piano. I just like to listen to him play and try to picture the hands in my mind. His technique was probably the best of all players in jazz. Very tasty and with a lot of class...

 

Regards,

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When Oscar Peterson was young he recorded high energy fast rendition of Take the A Train. But this is my favorite performance of that tune ever. The bass player is smooth and has such killer doghouse tone. I love the song at this tempo.

 

[video:youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipXlVNQ-n5w

 

But this one is amazing technique wise.

[video:youtube]

 

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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Thanks for sharing these vids CEB! Hot damn that first version of A train feels good. That looks like the late great NHØP on bass if I'm not mistaken.

 

Is it just me or does the piano on the second one sound a little too high fidelity to have been recorded in 1968?

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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Who is going to learn how to play like Oscar Peterson from a Hal Leonard book? OP took Art Tatum's style and refined and expanded on it. He was a monster player with taste. Anybody who can get those chops and style out of a Hal Leonard book, please post your you-tube and tell us what book we need to study. :thu:

 

Hate to sound snarky, but I did. The first piece in this book is a great transcription of Oscar's classic recording of 'C Jam Blues'. I have studied the living crap out of it and completely looted this piece alone for dozens of licks that are very much a part of my vocabulary now.

 

That's not to say that I claim to be an heavy Oscar authority or to approach him even remotely with talent or technique. Nor that I don't also own the recording of this piece and listen to it a lot. But the book helped man. You don't NEED the book, but it sure helped me.

 

+1

Another great stylistic pianist..Horace Silver.

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But his influence on the evolution of the idiom as a whole was not that of a, Art Tatum, a Herbie Hancock, a Thelonius Monk, a Bud Powell or a Bill Evans.

 

Herbie Hancock?

 

p.s.

Surprisingly we often prefer to listen more those who had "less" influence on jazz evolution...

 

Herbie's the man!

 

offnote - I know you think Brubeck defined jazz...

 

Off hand I can't think of anything that Oscar added to jazz pedagogy. The list as it relates to others like Evans, Herbie, McCoy, Monk, Powell, Tristano, Chick... is huge.

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Is it just me or does the piano on the second one sound a little too high fidelity to have been recorded in 1968?

 

According to a biography I read about Oscar, the MPS record label was a very rich guy in Germany who had prototype mics and gear that was beyond the state of the art-- and a perfect Bosendorfer. All the MPS stuff sounds exceptional, IMO.

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CEB,

 

Oscar Peterson doesn't get the love because he wasn't really innovative. He aped Nat Cole and took it to a whole 'nother level but didn't really influence anyone stylistically or push the music and while he has some compositions, no one plays them.

 

The influential guys are people like Bud Powell, Bill Evans and McCoy Tyner. Everyone imitates these guys. In the 50's everyone was playing like Bud and now it seems that like 80% of the pianists I see are doing the whole fifths down low/quartal chord/pentatonic McCoy Tyner thing.

 

Thelonious Monk is influential for his compositions and Horace Silver's compositions and playing added another side to jazz. People are rushing out to play like these guys but they were influential.

 

To me Peterson is definitely the best most well rounded pianist out there, I have all of his records and love listening to him, especially the London House recordings and the whole Exclusively for my Friends set of recordings on MPS.

 

Peterson doesn't get the respect, just look at Monk's blindfold test in Downbeat where the interviewer puts on a Peterson track and Monk goes to the can for a b.m. when he comes back the interviewer asks what he thought and Monk says you saw what I just did, that is what I thought. No love for O.P. from Monk.

 

D.

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Oscar was an incredible player and great teacher. He gave a workshop to the Jazz program at York U. in Toronto when I was there in the 70's (yikes). He was very inspiring for everyone. It was a thrill for me because I got to meet him, carry his briefcase out to the car in the cold and talk to him. He was very warm and generous with his advice. In later years, I believe that they made him adjunct faculty even though he lived in Montreal. For me, it's not necessarily whether he created new styles, although I think he did more in terms of synthesis of styles than some here are giving him credit for, but it was his mastery of the instrument and his ability to integrate so many different styles into his playing. Definitely one of the all-time greats, for me, although, yes Bill Evans, Bud Powell and others had greater influence. So what?

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Lurking more than posting, but here a lot. Thanks to KC!!!

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p.s.- About Miles Black, he plays regularly in Vancouver and is a great player. I know that he has developed a number of instructional materials about playing like Oscar (including a bunch for the Band-in-a-Box folks in Victoria) and people tell me that they are good. However, although he is a good player, maybe one of the best in Canada today, Oscar was in a different league imho.I'll check out the book though, thanks.

Nord Piano, Nord Electro 3, Nord C1, Traynor K4, QSC K8, various guitars and amps.

Lurking more than posting, but here a lot. Thanks to KC!!!

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Just an interesting side on the Oscar Note for Note book, CD and multimedia package. Although Amazon's description of it makes it sound as if Oscar did the transcriptions, it is a misleading description. It was published by PG Music, the folks who do Band in a Box and the transcriptions were done by Miles Black (as noted by Montunoman). Miles Black plays on the CD. The products were created with authorization from Oscar, who wrote that he was very pleased with the results.

Nord Piano, Nord Electro 3, Nord C1, Traynor K4, QSC K8, various guitars and amps.

Lurking more than posting, but here a lot. Thanks to KC!!!

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