Oscar Peterson

What are some exciting events that have happened in the month of August? In 1620, the Mayflower set sail from Southampton, England with 102 Pilgrims. In 1866, President Andrew Johnson declared the U.S. Civil War over, and in 1896, gold was first discovered in the Klondike. And in jazz history? Three of the most renowned pianists were born.

When WRTI Jazz Host Bob Perkins talks about one of his all-time favorite pianists, what does he call him?  The Wonderful Wizard of OZcar!  One of the great jazz pianists of all time, master of the keyboard Oscar Peterson, said he was intimidated by jazz pianist Art Tatum and admired Nat King Cole. But "O.P.," as his friends called him, was a magician who followed his own muse.

Bob Perkins calls him “The Wonderful Wizard of OZcar," Ellington called him “The Maharaja of the Keyboard,” and his friends just said “O.P." But let's just call Oscar Peterson one of the greatest jazz pianists ever. The man could swing!

Our Jazz Appreciation Month celebration continues this week as we present our favorite live jazz recordings. Tune in during the week of April 13th at 7 pm, 9:30 pm, 12:30 am and 5:30 am to hear top live jazz picks from Bob Perkins, Jeff Duperon, Zivit, J. Michael Harrison, Bob Craig, and Maureen Malloy.

Listen to our hosts discuss their favorite live recordings below.

1.  Zivit - Bill Evans - "My Man's Gone Now" - Sunday at the Village Vanguard

Oscar Peterson: Unmistakable
A Zenph Re-Performance

There is nothing quite like listening to Oscar Peterson play the piano. The man was a true musical genius, and his playing exuded rigid technique and grace - all at the same time. This Unmistakable release is a solo record, and may be one of the most pristine recordings of Oscar's work that has ever existed.