Oscar Peterson

Pencil Portrait by Antonio Bosano.

Oscar Peterson Pencil Portrait
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The quality of the prints are at a much higher level compared to the image shown on the left.


A3 Pencil Print-Price £20.00-Purchase

A4 Pencil Print-Price £15.00-Purchase

*Limited edition run of 250 prints only*

All Pencil Prints are printed on the finest Bockingford Somerset Velvet 255 gsm paper.

P&P is not included in the above prices.


The spectacular technique of Oscar Peterson, one of the world’s best known jazz pianists, endures on record and film to this day, twelve years after his death in 2007 at the age of 82. In a career that spanned seven decades, Peterson played with some of the biggest names in jazz, including Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie, and led a popular trio with bassist Ray Brown and guitarist Herb Ellis in the 1950s.

The Canadian born musician released his first single aged 19, and went on to record more than 200 albums and win multiple Grammy awards, including a lifetime achievement honour in 1997. When I watch any archive performance of the “Maharaja of the keyboard,” it makes all my current efforts to elevate my own piano playing to pure “troubadour” status seemingly redundant, such being the sheer virtuosity of the man’s ability. I have a number of shows he recorded for the BBC in the 70’s in which he demonstrated an effortless ability to make the subject of jazz interesting for even the less than die hards. Whether jamming with Count Basie or discussing the nightmarish challenge faced by Joe Pass in developing a solo jazz concert repertoire for guitar, his programmes were always entertaining and illuminating.

Peterson’s speed, dexterity, and ability to swing at any tempo were amazing. Very effective in small groups, jam sessions, and in accompanying singers, O.P. – as he was known to his friends – was at his absolute best when performing unaccompanied solos. His original style did not fall into any specific idiom. Like Erroll Garner and George Shearing, Peterson’s distinctive playing formed during the mid- to late ’40s and fell somewhere between swing and bop. He had his detractors, and playing a hundred notes when other pianists would have settled for ten hardly helped matters. Nevertheless, his phenomenal technique invariably served his performances well even if he did primarily remain a great stylist rather than an innovator throughout his sixty year career. Check out the Peterson trio on the albums “Night Train” (Verve 1963) and “On the Town” (Verve 1958) which features a smokin’ live set.