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Monday, December 24, 2007

Oscar Peterson

Unfortunately, there is more news today.

Jazz Pianist Oscar Peterson has passed away, age 82.

Oscar was one of the greats, even after his stroke in 1993. Any of the Oscar Peterson Trio recordings from the 1950s will prove that.

Not many people know that I'm a jazz fan. I played drums with jazz groups (big bands and smaller groups) in high school and in college. I was fortunate enough to be in a group invited to play at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1997. Imagine being a 17 year old kid, sitting behind the drum kit on a stage beside Lake Geneva, surrounded by mountains, trees, and a few hundred people cheering you on during your big solo. Its easily one of the best moments of my life thus far, if not the best. I miss playing jazz. There's so much more freedom with jazz than there is playing straight 4/4 rock songs. Most people in my age group grew up listening to Lars Ulrich. I had Jimmy Chamberlin and Chad Smith, but I also listened to Tony Williams, Max Roach (who we also lost this year), and Art Blakey.

Sleep well, Oscar. You've earned it. Here he is performing "Goodbye":

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