Afterglow Jazz and American Popular Song

The Piano Player Sings: Oscar Peterson

Oscar Peterson was one of jazz’s most popular pianists, but on a couple of occasions he did albums on which he sang as well.

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Oscar Peterson Mosaic

Photo: CD cover art.

Oscar Peterson's recent Mosaic Records anthology includes some rare vocal recordings that the pianist made in the early 1950s.

Oscar Peterson–piano virtuoso and singer?

A recent Mosaic Records anthology includes some vocal recordings that the pianist made in the early 1950s.

Peterson sang well, but his sound was remarkably similar to another popular pianist-turned-singer of the times… which led to a rather amusing exchange, detailed in the show.

Also this week: Frank Sinatra takes an unlikely turn with a popular 1970s singer-songwriter, trumpeter Howard McGhee plays Cole Porter, and vocal tracks from Mark Murphy, Tony Bennett, Melody Gardot, and Helen Forrest with Artie Shaw.

Music Heard On This Episode

Until the Real Thing Comes Along
Oscar Peterson — The Complete Clef/Mercury Trio Recordings 1951-53 (Mosaic, 2009)
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Until the Real Thing Comes Along
Oscar Peterson — The Complete Clef/Mercury Trio Recordings 1951-53 (Mosaic, 2009)
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Lovely to Look At
Oscar Peterson — The Complete Clef/Mercury Trio Recordings 1951-53 (Mosaic, 2009)
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That Old Black Magic
Mark Murphy — Some Time Ago (HighNote, 2000)
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Comes Love
Helen Forrest/Artie Shaw — Sweet and Simple (Jasmine, 2000)
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Baby I'm a Fool
Melody Gardot — My One and Only Thrill (Verve, 2009)
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I'm Glad There Is You
Oscar Peterson — Romance: the Vocal Styling of Oscar Peterson (Polygram, 1998)

Notes: Also on the new Peterson Mosaic set.

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Polka Dots and Moonbeams
Oscar Peterson — Romance: the Vocal Styling of Oscar Peterson (Polygram, 1998)

Notes: Also on the recent Peterson Mosaic set.

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I Hear Music
Oscar Peterson — Romance: the Vocal Styling of Oscar Peterson (Polygram, 1998)

Notes: Also on the recent Peterson Mosaic set.

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The Song Is You
Oscar Peterson — The Complete Clef/Mercury Trio Recordings 1951-53 (Mosaic, 2009)

Notes: Midpoint music bed.

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Like a Sad Song
Frank Sinatra — Complete Reprise Studio Recordings (Warner/WEA, 1998)
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I Concentrate On You
Howard McGhee — Dusty Blue (Rhino/WEA, 1999)
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One For My Baby
Oscar Peterson — Romance: the Vocal Styling of Oscar Peterson (Polygram, 1998)

Notes: Also on the recent Peterson Mosaic set.

Buy from Amazon »
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I Can't Give You Anything But Love
Oscar Peterson — Romance: the Vocal Styling of Oscar Peterson (Polygram, 1998)

Notes: Also on the recent Peterson Mosaic set.

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The Things We Did Last Summer
Oscar Peterson — Romance: the Vocal Styling of Oscar Peterson (Polygram, 1998)

Notes: Also on the recent Peterson Mosaic set.

Buy from Amazon »
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Mood Indigo
Tony Bennett — Fifty Years: the Artistry of Tony Bennett (Sony, 2004)
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David Brent Johnson

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, David Brent Johnson moved to Bloomington in 1991. He is an alumnus of Indiana University, and began working with WFIU in 2002. Currently, David serves as jazz producer and systems coordinator at the station. His interests include literature, history, music, writing, and movies.

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  • david gerstel

    wonderful music. wonderful concept. love it. always listen. always enjoyable. thank you

  • http://indianapublicmedia.org/nightlights/ David Brent Johnson

    David, thanks for the comment–really glad you enjoyed the show. I can’t remember if I mentioned it or not, but Oscar Peterson did another vocal album in the mid-1960s–a tribute to Nat King Cole, not long after Nat passed away. It’s called WITH RESPECT TO NAT.

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