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12,393 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 112 of them this year alone and, so far, 112 this month (Jan. 23).

Monday, October 19, 2020

Oscar Lives! James Pearson and Dave Newton remember Oscar Peterson by way of a live stream from Ronnie Scott's - Oct. 19

James Pearson, Dave Newton (pianos); Sam Burgess (bass); Matt Skelton (drums).

(Photo courtesy of Ken Drew)

Not a lot you can say about this week's Monday night offering from Ronnie's other than fantastic although sensational would also cover it. However, being a down to earth sort of chap I'll just say it was bloody great.

I had initial reservations, two pianos? they'll get in each others way. I should have known better, we weren't talking about just any two old piano players but, arguably, two of the best, if not the best, jazz pianists in the country. Well they had to be hadn't they? If you're not you're going to fall short paying tribute to Oscar Peterson, probably the greatest of them all.

The two main men scored by way of their contrasting styles, each feeding off the other. Pearson the more flamboyant, Newton the more delicate both contributing to the various facets of Peterson's persona.

Reunion Blues set the pattern, Cheek to Cheek kept it rolling before Newton gave a moving rendition of Alice in Wonderland. So far so good. It got even better on YouTube as opposed to that other place and I made the transition just in time for the evening's killer punch.

Let's Fall in Love might seem an unlikely stomping ground, but attacked by the twenty fingers of Newton and Pearson, spurred on by Skelton and underpinned by Burgess, you can guarantee it would get well and truly stomped! This one left me breathless and it took Corcovado to cool me down!

The next three were from Peterson's Canadiana Suite: Blues of the Prairies; Wheatland and Place St. Henri.

The "encore" was Hymn to Freedom and I couldn't think of a more fitting finale, bearing in mind the times we're living in, than this.

Another great live stream by four great musicians.

Lance

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