A Jazz Odyssey

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2002-06-01
  • Publisher: Continuum Intl Pub Group

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Jazz pianist Oscar Peterson is, in the words of Quincy Jones, "one of the greatest musicians on the planet." Born in Montreal in 1925 to immigrant parents of West Indian origin, he soon revealed himself to be a musical prodigy. He was still in his teens when he became the star attraction of Canada's leading big band, the renowned Johnny Holmes Orchestra, and had just turned twenty when he made his first trio recordings for RCA. During the 1950s he demonstrated another side to his musical genius, becoming a brilliant accompanist for jazz impresario Norman Granz's Jazz at the Philharmonic tours and on myriad recording sessions. He was the ideal foil for a host of musicians including Coleman Hawkins, Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Young, Roy Eldridge, Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker and Billie Holiday. Despite a stroke in 1993, he continues to perform and record, making more music and swinging harder than most pianists accomplish in their prime. Book jacket.

Author Biography

Richard Palmer read English at Cambridge and has a doctorate in American studies from the University of East Anglia. A lifelong jazz fan, he has been a staff writer for Jazz Journal International since the 1970s

Table of Contents

Prefatory Notep. ix
Cast of Charactersp. xi
The Key to Oscar
Beginningsp. 5
Early Teachersp. 11
My Dad: Daniel Petersonp. 14
The Formative Yearsp. 19
Subcultures and Bigotryp. 24
Runs, Chords, and Girlsp. 29
Decisions, Decisionsp. 35
From Sixteen to Threep. 44
Collie Ramsey: Mystery Piano Playerp. 52
Departure and Arrival--Part Onep. 56
Departure and Arrival--Part Twop. 59
America: The 1950s
Early American Daysp. 65
From Duo to Triop. 76
Herbie's Storyp. 79
Trio Control and Growthp. 82
Membership Flow in the Trio (I): The 1950sp. 85
Early Trio Life and Dealing with the Roadp. 89
The Dinner Battlesp. 92
A Different Kind of Tapingp. 94
The Bus--Part Onep. 94
The Bus--Part Twop. 97
Kissing Banditp. 99
Ice-Gream Charlie Does It Againp. 101
The Slasherp. 102
The Return of the Dallas Flashp. 103
Five Cameosp. 105
The Knowledgeable Mediap. 106
The Southern Draughtp. 107
Norman Granz
Norman Granz: Reluctant Geniusp. 115
Norman the Gourmandp. 131
Lifetime Achievement Grammyp. 133
Jazz People
Coleman Hawkins: The Enigmap. 139
Meet the President: Lester Youngp. 150
The Legend Is Real: Lady Fitzp. 155
Billie Holiday: The Mysterious Lady Dayp. 165
The Lady Day Sessionsp. 172
Buddy Richp. 174
Roy (Speedy Gonzales) Eldridgep. 176
Harry Edisonp. 180
Bill Harrisp. 182
Stuff Smithp. 185
Stan Getz and Zoot Simsp. 187
Carmen McRae: The Special Onep. 189
The Other Lady Day: Anita O'Dayp. 191
A Glance at My Confreres in the Piano Worldp. 193
Wynton Kelly: Brimsha Manp. 200
In the Studio: The Proving Groundp. 201
The Verve Charlie Parker Jam Sessionp. 207
The Role of the Accompanistp. 209
More Keys: The 1960s Onward
The Percussive Group: Ray Brown and Ed Thigpenp. 219
The Night Train Albump. 222
Membership Flow in the Trio (2): 1960s and 1970sp. 223
The Long and the Short of Itp. 227
The MPS Yearsp. 229
Those Unrelenting Bassistsp. 236
Persuasive Percussionp. 250
Joe Pass: Guitar Eternalp. 254
Porgy And Bess with Joe Passp. 257
Hangout in Japanp. 258
Duke Ellington: Monarch Supremep. 262
The Trumpet Kingsp. 264
Clark Terry: Unsung Herop. 268
Ronnie Scott: "The Rev"p. 271
Mr. Pretty: Alan Clairep. 273
Four Vignettesp. 274
Paul de Marky's Chopin-like Eggsp. 279
Benny Green: Critic Supremep. 280
"Oscar's Piano Parties"p. 281
The Hands Hasslep. 288
Preparation for Solo Piano Performancep. 291
Pianos: My Lifelong Friendsp. 296
The Electronic Revolutionp. 305
Promoters and Their Waysp. 308
The Royal Wedding Albump. 311
The New Quartetp. 312
The Order of Canadap. 313
The Glenn Gould Prizep. 314
The Praemium Imperialep. 315
Matters Political
Bigotry Starts Earlyp. 319
Nigger!p. 322
My Favourite Politicianp. 325
Pitfalls of the Professionp. 326
Cultural Politics: The Betrayal of Jazzp. 329
Matters Personal
True Moments of Greatness: The Outdoorsmanp. 343
The Great Hotels of the Worldp. 347
The Continual Search for True Friendsp. 353
Night Childp. 358
Marriage and Fatherhoodp. 359
Surgery; Resurgence; Stroke!p. 365
The Perfect Retreatp. 368
The Elusive Control of Emotionp. 370
The Will to Perfectionp. 372
Indexp. 375
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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