*Baloo in Disney’s The Jungle Book (1967).

As a jazz novice, Oscar Peterson’s album, How High The Moon, is ‘proper’ jazz to me.  There are discernable tunes; there is a structure to the music, with a sense that one will be able to get on with one’s life one day (not all jazz music gives one this feeling of optimism, I’ve found); and most important of all, it swings with rhythm, fun and groovy cool.

Peterson was an amazing jazz pianist, and was a stunning leader in his field.  His Wiki entry seems to me to sum things up pretty well, so I won’t repeat much detail here.  But the stand out important detail is, of course, the work he did with his piano trio – the principle second and third members being Ray Brown and Herb Ellis.

Have a listen to this track – Falling in love with love recorded at the Stratford Shakespearean Festival in 1956, when the trio were at their peak together.  Isn’t it great?  The version on my album is good too, but perhaps not quite as intense – possibly the result of a studio version – they could be more relaxed?

And here’s Swinging on star – great fun, with a fabulous Double Bass part!!

There is lots more for me to explore in the Peterson catalogue, and I will surely do so at the end of Project LT.  Because they clearly know how to put on what Baloo described as “a swinging party”.


13 thoughts on ““I’m gone, man. Solid gone.”*

  1. I wasn’t familiar with Oscar Peterson. I like “Swinging on a star” – fun to listen to. Jazz is a funny genre for me – I either love it or really just can’t get into it depending on the artist.

    1. Yes, completely agree with you. I feel all at sea with anything other than the basics, unlike other types of music. It’s the same with poetry for me too. Am trying hard to learn though!

      1. That’s interesting. I’m comfortable with poetry so maybe I should approach jazz as a form of poetry. The problem is that I want my jazz to be fun whereas I’m fine with poetry being whatever mood it wants to be. Perhaps I’m being too limited and selfish in my jazz listening!

  2. I thought I was going to learn that Oscar Peterson played piano on ‘Wanna Be Like You’. Well, he should’ve.

  3. Oh, I got so excited when I saw the words The Jungle Book at the top of your post. I started singing Bare Necessities at the top of my voice in anticipation of your thoughts on The Jungle Book songs. 😀 Instead I was given an introduction to something completely new. But I am sure Oscar could have given us a fine version of the Bare Necessities! Do you think that you are responding to the classical training that must influence Peterson’s Jazz?

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