Happiness as Anarchy #360: Oscar Peterson

Oscar Peterson is one of my all time favourite piano players – class, elegance, groove, heart – everything you could possibly want to hear from a piano. I was just looking for different versions of C-Jam Blues (an Ellington tune written in 1942) and came across this fabulous version of Oscar Peterson playing it live in 1964 with Ray Brown (one of my favourite bass players) and Ed Thigpen (I don’t really have a favourite drummer, but he’s played on many of my favourite recordings). My new mission is to learn to play that intro.

Happiness as Anarchy #214: Photo Fun

It’s a week for setting up gear that I’ve had for ages. On the weekend I played with my new digital mixer and worked out how to record my piano. I’m going to have lots of fun with that over the next couple of weeks. Following on from that, I set up some of my studio lighting and played with my camera and my piano. There’s a risk that I may never emerge from my studio again.

Happiness as Anarchy #104: Playing piano

Playing piano has always been a meditation-like exercise for me. Whenever I was grumpy as a kid my mum would tell me to go and play piano, as she knew it would fix whatever was wrong. I’ve had a difficult day and driving home I was contemplating wine or chocolate (or both) as a remedy, but walked in the door and realised that what I really needed was for my fingers and ears to commune with my piano. It only took 15 minutes at the ivories (although I could have happily stayed there for hours) to restore the balance of things.

McCoy Tyner's hands
Close-up photo of the hands of jazz pianist McCoy Tyner as he performs at the Jazz Showcase, a jazz club in the Printer’s Row neighborhood of Chicago, 1970s. (Photo by Robert Abbott Sengstacke/Getty Images)