Sunday 3 July 2005

Oscar Peterson at the Royal Albert Hall

I'm afraid another Canada Day went past pretty quietly but we did go down to the Royal Albert Hall to see a fellow Canadian, Oscar Peterson. Traffic was heavy so we got there late. Never fun tromping over half a row of people and stumbling towards your seat.

It was a simple event. Four old guys on a bare stage playing absolutely fantastic jazz. Oscar doesn't look like he's in the best of health and he stopped to talk about how the death of some of his colleagues really has been a blow to him this year. He has quite a bit of trouble walking but he insisted on walking on the stage unaided after the break. I'm quite amazed he still tours.

But he sure can play! Absolutely fluid. His band was superb too. Jazz doesn't get better.


  1. As a fathers day present, my two lovely daughters and their partner treated me to a box at the R A Hall to see my favourite artist Oscar Peterson.

    All six of us arrived and settled into our box armed with a couple of bottles of plonk, water, and various forms of munchies.

    At just after 8.oclock his guitarist, drummer and bass players came onto the stage to great applause, followed by the worlds greatest jazz pianist to a standing ovation.

    I can only describe my feelings as totally gobsmacked at what followed. The concert and the banter from this giant of a man will be remembered for the rest of my life.

    Thanks Oscar and thank you Claire, Cheryl, Rob and Scott for a most wonderful evening.

  2. Tore Svein Olsen / Norway13 July 2005 at 08:06

    I never heard OP in the Royal Albert Hall, but I was lucky enough to attend a concert in the Oslo concert house in the spring, with Niels Henning on the bass. I got a last minute ticket, and was placed on the stage, just behing the Quartet. It was tremendous - my all time favourite just 2-3 meters away. Even if you could see Oscars age his music was as before - full of time, hearth and feeling. The same band - and repertoire now exist on a DVD recorded live in Vienna - a MUST for all jazz fans!

    I look forward to the next concert with OP, when meeting him again in Kiel/Germany August the 25th. This will be tremendous and nostalgic, with a little flavour of times which may never come back.

  3. I went to see oscar peterson at the royal albert hall with my uncle who is also a jazz fan. I remember the way they came on the drummer first setting a fast beat then the rest who added it was truly magnificent. I think the most memorable part of the evening was near the end when the drummer went solo for a few minutes, good god that was incredible, oscar peterson was still able to play a 100mph even though he walked very slowly across the stage. He seemed fragile and old as you would when your at his age, but his passion overwhelmed his physical conditions allowing him to play to his hearts content.