Oscar Peterson: “Slow Blues” (with Count Basie) and “C Jam Blues”

Oscar Peterson is among the greatest jazz pianists. Many consider Art Tatum — as the excerpt below suggests — to be the best, while Peterson, Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk and a few others are a small step away. I previously linked to this terrific interview that Dick Cavett did with Peterson.

This is from Wikipedia’s profile of Peterson:

Some of the artists who influenced Peterson’s music during the earlier type of years were Teddy Wilson, Nat “King” Cole, James P. Johnson and Art Tatum, to whom many have tried to compare Peterson in later years.[7] One of his first exposures to Tatum’s musical talents came early in his teen years when his father played Art Tatum’s Tiger Rag for him, and Peterson was so intimidated by what he heard that he became disillusioned about his own playing, to the extent of refusing to play the piano at all for several weeks. In his own words, “Tatum scared me to death” and Peterson was “never cocky again” about his mastery at the piano.[8] Tatum was a model for Peterson’s musicianship during the 1940s and 1950s. Tatum and Peterson eventually became good friends, although Peterson was always shy about being compared with Tatum and rarely played the piano in Tatum’s presence. (Continue Reading…)

Here are links TDMB posts on Nat King Cole and Art Tatum.

Above is Slow Blues with Count Basie. Below is Duke Ellington’s C Jam Blues.