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Pianist/composer/bandleader Oscar Peterson, one of the most popular jazz artists in history, died on Sunday, December 23, 2007, at his home in Mississauga , Ontario , outside Toronto . He was 82.

Peterson recorded with most of the jazz greats over the years. He played alongside giants like Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Eldridge, Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Parker, Stan Getz and Nat King Cole.

Peterson was born on August 15, 1925, in Montreal . Norman Granz, his influential manager and producer, brought him to New York City in 1949 for the first Jazz at the Philharmonic (JATP) tour. Peterson went on to lead two of the most popular jazz trios in the world, one with bassist Ray Brown and guitarist Herb Ellis, the other with Brown and drummer Ed Thigpen.

Peterson had more than 200 recordings to his credit, along with eight GRAMMY® Awards, the Glenn Gould Prize in 1993, and, in June of 1999, he received the prestigious Japanese Praemium Imperiale Award. Despite having suffered a stroke, he continued to dazzle listeners around the world.

Peterson’s first recording for Telarc, The Legendary Oscar Peterson Trio - Live at the Blue Note, was the recipient of the 1990 GRAMMY® Award for Best Jazz Group Instrumental Performance. Best known for his brilliant playing, he was equally accomplished as a composer. In 2000, Peterson teamed up with Michel Legrand for The Trail of Dreams: A Canadian Suite. Orchestrated and conducted by Legrand, The Trail of Dreams premiered in April 2000 at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto . In 2001, Telarc released Oscar’s Ballads, a compilation focused on the hauntingly beautiful ballads written by Peterson over the past 10 years. The Legendary Oscar Peterson Trio - Live at the Blue Note, a historic 4-CD collection of the pianist’s most treasured live recordings, was released in 2004. A 1998 recording, What’s Up? The Very Tall Band (with Peterson, Ray Brown and Milt Jackson), was released in 2007.

"To have been able to work with Oscar was a life long dream for us," says Bob Woods , Telarc’s President. "That we were able to make so many exceptional recordings with him in the difficult latter years of his life was a sign of his incredible strength and passion for his special kind of music making. Our highest thoughts go out to his family at this time, and our sincerest appreciation to Oscar for being able to be a part of his incredible journey."

Telarc Discography

The Legendary Oscar Peterson Trio (1990) CD-83304

Saturday Night at the Blue Note (1991) CD-83306

Last Call at the Blue Note (1992) CD-83314

Encore at the Blue Note (1993) CD-83356

Side by Side (1994) CD-83341

The More I See You (1995) CD-83370

An Oscar Peterson Christmas (1995) CD-83372

Oscar Peterson Meets Roy Hargrove and Ralph Moore (1996) CD-83399

Oscar Peterson Tribute Live at Town Hall (1997) CD-83401

Oscar in Paris : Live at the Salle Pleyel (1997) CD-83414

Oscar & Benny (1998) CD-83406

A Summer Night in Munich (1999) CD-83450

Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, Milt Jackson : The Very Tall Band (1999) CD-83443

The Trail of Dreams: A Canadian Suite (2000) CD-83500

Oscar’s Ballads (2001) CD-83504

The Legendary Oscar Peterson Trio - Live at the Blue Note (2004) 4CD-83617

Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, Milt Jackson: What’s Up? The Very Tall Band (2007) CD-83663

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Oscar Peterson
  • Event Date: 12/23/2007
  • Subtitle: Telarc Records Press Release
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