Oscar Peterson 1 of 6
bennie December 29, 07
My remembrance of Oscar goes back to the 50s when I first heard him on record and in various venues when he visited New York City. I finally met him in person in the late 80s when he visited Los Angeles to play at Ray Brown's jazz club, The Loa. A day before opening there, he visited the best piano store in Los Angeles owned by David Abell. There he delighted in playing the various fine pianos that David stocked, including his favorite Bosendorfer brand. For 3 hours he played non-stop, testing and evaluating the many various brands and models that David carried. He was very personable, conversational, and unselfishly shared his tremendous talent with those in the store, including me who he had never met before. In our brief conversation, we discovered that we had similar backgrounds in that our parents both were immigrants from the West Indies. His immigrated directly to Canada, and mine immigrated directly to New York City. Also our fathers were music lovers and amateur musicians, and started each of us on music lessons around age five. The next evening, Oscar opened at the Loa to tumultuous applause from the crowd, and rave reviews in the local newspapers. I shall never forget those few hours that I spent up-close and personal with the great, one and only, Oscar Peterson.
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