Even though we initially missed word of it in the holiday craziness, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that jazz legend Oscar Peterson passed away on Sunday from kidney failure after “going downhill in the last few months,” according to Mayor Hazel McCallion of Mississauga, Canada, where Peterson lived.
A Canadian native, Peterson first sat at the stool as a child, where a fast-track apprenticeship led to wowing dancers around the provinces as he hit puberty, before a trip to the U.S. in the late ’40s fixed his star among American jazz audiences. And among American jazz musicians: a not-even-partial list of those Peterson played with included boldfaced names in the guidebooks like Coleman Hawkins, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, and Stan Getz, while admiring accolades flowed from dozens for whom Peterson never manned the 88. Famed as the the leader of his own trios and quartets as the century passed its midway point, as well as a deft soloist with a bandstand-assured style but an ear for changing pianistic trends, a 1993 stroke that came more than 50 years into his career slowed his roll but did not stop him, until his health problems this year forced him to halt his relaxed post-stroke performance and recording schedule entirely. Peterson was 82 and survived by his wife and daughter.
Jazz Pianist Oscar Peterson Died At 82 [Billboard]