From The Seattle Times/Washington Post:

Oscar Peterson at the piano? Oscar Peterson was the piano.

His touch could be light and feathery, as ethereal as a memory. It could operate with blinding speed, releasing liquid lines that felt like a river bursting a dam. Or it could release rumbling cascades of notes, pounding out a stratagem of confidence and assurance.

Sometimes Peterson didn’t move much, his body swaying slowly on ballads, head bowed in reverie. At other times, constant piston motion — hands working the keys, arms sweeping up and down the keyboard — gave Peterson a supple bounce, as if that bench was hot. When he got into a particularly pleasing groove, or when his sidemen spurred him on with their own invention, Peterson would smile, and get just a little more fired up.

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  1. Oscar Peterson is one of those guys that will continue to live on through the legacy he left. I’m truly sad to hear I won’t ever get to see him perform live, but honestly his music has touched and inspired me far more than the desire to have seen him do it live. Seeing him live would have only solidified what I already know in my heart…this man could swing and the joy he brought to music had the power stir people’s souls. He leaves the type of legacy we all strive to leave in our lives. A toast to Oscar Peterson – a fellow musician, true artist, inspiration, icon and guiding light. I’ll remember Oscar every time I hear that “fat man swing!” Goodbye Oscar – RIP.

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