Peterson, Oscar (1925-)

Peterson, Oscar 1

[In late 1947 the Canadian jazz pianist and composer was leading a trio at a Montreal club called the Alberta Lounge. Radio station CJAD made "remote" broadcasts of the trio for fifteen minutes every Wednesday night and one of these broadcasts caught the attention of producer Norman Granz:]

A legend has grown up that Granz, on his way to Montreal's Dorval Airport in a taxi, heard one of Oscar's broadcasts from the Alberta, was astounded, ordered the driver to go to the Alberta Lounge instead, heard Peterson, and swept him off to sudden fame with Jazz at the Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall.

Granz has said, "The cabby had some music playing, and I assumed that it was a disc that some disc jockey was playing, and I asked him if he knew the station. I'd like to call them and find out who the pianist was with the trio. And he said, 'No, that's not a record, it's coming live from a club called the Alberta Lounge.' He said, 'It's Oscar Peterson.' And I said, 'Well, forget the airport, turn around and let's go to the club.'"