Whilst rummaging through my record collection, I found one of my preferred albums from my childhood, It's Oscar performing live at 'La Salle Pleyel,' in Paris with:
Lorne Lofsky - Guitar
Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen - Double Bass
Martin Drew - Drums
Oscar Peterson is one of my favourite jazz pianists of all time. He was born in Montreal, Canada on August 15, 1925 & sadly passed away in December 2007 at the ripe old age of 82. In his time on the planet he recorded hundreds of 'swinging' albums.
When Oscar recorded this album, he was 70 years young & it was post the trio which he'd had with Ray Brown & Ed Thigpen (The combination of Ed, Ray and Oscar produced some of my favorite music of all time, especially the album 'We get requests.' have a listen if you have a moment spare). The younger, and current, me has always loved the virtuosity in Oscars playing, The way in which he plays at speed combining various rhythms, jazz and blues lines in his playing definitely has a resonance with what I enjoy. All of this combined, makes me feel he's able to create melodic and gripping solos which I can, at present, I feel I can only dream of replicating!
Anyway, back to the previously mentioned CD. Upon listening through the various tracks, 'You look good to me.' was the one which instantly jumped out. The desire to try and replicate some of Oscars lines on a saxophone was slightly daunting to say the least, but left me inspired. I set about transcribing the parts and learning the head to play at my next gig, as well as documenting the process & making some practice aids - see below.
Song: 'You look good to me.' <-- (YouTube link.)
Artist: Oscar Peterson,
Album: Live at 'La Salle Pleyel.' June 25th, 1996.
Here are the PDF's for the song 'You look good to me.' There are copies for concert pitch, Bb and Eb instruments.
Phrasing Practice. One of the most important things which people wish to achieve in jazz is good phrasing and feel. Phrasing is hard to teach, It's picked up mainly by repeated listening and playing along with whichever recording you're learning, Whilst playing, aim to get perfectly in sync with the artist, copying articulation, dynamics & feel. use the YouTube link to practice along with, unless you can find the CD to buy!
If you want to be able to slow the piece down, as well as loop the piece It'd be worth you buying this program: Transcribe.
Secondly, below are some MIDI backing tracks to help you practice playing the pieces without the artist, as well as a place to experiment with improvising. These again are at 50%, 75% and 100% speed.
Please use the transcription to help you develop your phrasing/ grab some lines, for inspiration or even just to play on a gig! (This has been tested in gig situation and works!)
Hopefully you'll get the same enjoyment from playing it, & learn a bit more about the way in which Oscar plays, as I have. In the not too distant future I'll work out his solo... gulp! Meanwhile, enjoy :)
P.s. If this is helpful/useful or you have any questions/suggestions/ requests please comment below or even get in touch via my email. Good luck!
Thanks again - Ben