cover image Oscar Peterson: The Will to Swing

Oscar Peterson: The Will to Swing

Graham Lees, Gene Lees. Prima Lifestyles, $19.95 (304pp) ISBN 978-1-55958-037-3

A fine song lyricist and writer on jazz delineates the career and personality of Canada's outstanding living musician, 65-year-old pianist Oscar Peterson, who is loved and respected throughout the world. Brought up by his stern taskmaster father and already a virtuoso in his early teens, Peterson was displayed by his manager Norman Granz at Carnegie Hall in 1949, and has probably been recorded more frequently than any other jazz musician. Here are enjoyable stories about his accomplishments and pranks, his marriages and children, his extraordinary musical relationships with bassist Ray Brown, guitarist Herb Ellis and drummer Edmund Thigpen, his numerous awards and 10 honorary doctorates. Lees tells the story extremely well and lays out the principles of criticism in a uniquely illuminating fashion. Photos. (July)