Watch the Rollin' With Oscar online guitar lesson by David Hamburger from 50 Jazz-Blues Licks You MUST Know
Now, listen up, kids. Blowing people’s minds onstage is nice and all, but don’t make the mistake, like so many of us do, of aiming low. Before his death in 2007, sure, Oscar Peterson earned a worldwide reputation as a piano virtuoso, routine comparisons to Art Tatum, and emphatic, four-letter praise from Ray Charles. He played with Coleman Hawkins, Milt Jackson, Stephane Grappelli, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald and oh, um, Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong. Yeah. And he learned to play by getting the Bach Preludes and Fugues and Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto under his fingers (and, presumably, keeping them there until they were as burnin’ as his jazz chops became). And that’s all good, and worth aspiring to, as is making over 200 records in your lifetime and touring the world. Yes, yes.
But if you’re looking for some New Year’s Goals come December 31st, here are a few to add to the list, after "learning the modes" and "practicing more:" 1. Become Chancellor of a University (Peterson, York University in Toronto, 1991-94) 2. Be considered for the position of Lieutenant Governor (Peterson was offered the gig by incoming Ontario governor Jean Chretien in 1993, but turned it down) or, perhaps best of all, 3. Get a dormitory named after you ("Oscar Peterson Hall" on the University of Toronto Missassauga campus, 2008.)