If your Ford had a Matthew McConaughey, it would be a Lincoln

April is jazz appreciation month

Which means nothing, because every month is the month of multiple somethings. And yet, nonetheless, for the rest of the month, I’m going to post a favorite jazz recording, which you probably won’t listen to, but definitely should.

Tonight is Oscar Peterson playing Tom Jobim’s Corcovado. YouTube has a recording of Peterson playing this live with his trio, but the solo version is the one to hear. Peterson tends to be hugely underrated as a jazz musician. Like most jazz pianists, his greatest influence was Art Tatum—generally considered to be the greatest jazz pianist of all time—but where others like Thelonious Monk (my personal favorite) and Bud Powell moved on to bebop and hard bop, Peterson stuck to the stride technique that Tatum had pioneered decades before.  He was a fantastically gifted pianist who, in all likelihood, was simply too old fashioned, recorded too much, and lived too long (dying only about a decade ago at the age of 82) to cultivate the sort of rabid fanaticism that surrounds other jazz greats.

This recording of Corcovado stands out as my favorite recording of his and one of my favorite jazz recordings. It’s a genuinely virtuosic performance worth listening to closely and remembering that it’s being played live by a single person.

Share This Story