Good morning people,

Yesterday’s collection of druggy songs earned some interesting comments, and I was going to add a couple more links, but I’ll wait til tomorrow, bcause my friend Paul Mills suggested a wonderful link to a performance/interview/piano lesson by Oscar Peterson on the late-lamented Dick Cavett show.

Here’s what Paul wrote this morning:

“I don’t know if this would be of interest to your list or not but I thought I’d forward it to you in case. I had the honour of working with Oscar very early in my career as a producer. It was the Spring of 1973 and I was assigned to produce an album of Oscar Peterson playing his famous composition ‘The Canadiana Suite’ with the Phil Nimmons jazz band, Nimmons ‘n Nine Plus Six. It was a thrill and I was scared to death. Oscar sensed that I was a bit wet behind the ears but his generosity and grace and the professionalism of Nimmons got us through it and the result was an album I’m still proud to have been associated with.”

Here’s the link; it’s most remarkable:

I only saw Peterson once — on my second day in Canada, in April 1957, I wandered down Yonge Street and found a club called the Town Tavern at 12 King Street East (why I remember the address is a mystery, or a quirk in an aging brain). I’d discovered a couple of evenings earlier (when I had heard Earl Hines at the Colonial) that admission was free but you had to buy two somewhat overpriced drinks.

As I sat down, the first thing I noticed was the large black and white TV over the bandstand, with a hockey game in progress (but the sound turned off). On stage was a rotund black pianist from Montreal of whom I had never heard.

His playing left me speechless, and watching Paul’s link reminds me that I had heard a genius, and a friendly, funny, open-hearted man.

Always,

Richard

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