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Oscar Peterson's swinging style

Oscar Peterson was a giant in every sense of the word. Standing well over six feet tall, he'd even been mistaken for a football player. But there's no mistaking his brilliance on the keyboard. His dazzling technique combined with his swinging style made the Montreal native, as one critic remarked, the best damn jazz pianist in the whole world. Oscar Peterson died on December 23, 2007. He was 82.

In 1945 Oscar Peterson is a bona fide recording artist with RCA Victor. His early recordings sell thousands of copies.
Young Peterson becomes known for his fast boogie woogie style of playing. His technique earns him the nickname "The Brown Bomber of Boogie Woogie."
On CBC Radio's 940 on the Dial, Peterson describes his playing as "swing with a walking boogie style."

It involves playing syncopated octaves in the left hand while composing a melody in the right hand, completely independent of one another.
Peterson credits his classical training as instrumental in developing his unique technique.
• Jazz great Count Basie said Oscar Peterson played the best "ivory box" he'd ever heard.

• His teacher Paul de Marky helped Peterson with his swing style. Although trained in traditional classical piano, de Marky was a big fan of jazz.
Medium: Radio
Program: 940 on the Dial
Broadcast Date: Nov. 22, 1945
Guest(s): Oscar Peterson
Host: Genevieve Barry
Duration: 8:55

Last updated: December 20, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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