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“C Jam Blues”

Posted by purplemary54 on May 30, 2013

When I typed Oscar Peterson into the search bar over at YouTube, this is the first video that came up.  Since I know virtually nothing about Peterson, I chose to use it for today’s clip.  Glad I did, because this is a pretty cool tune.

In case you haven’t already guessed, Oscar Peterson is another one of my dad’s jazz favorites.  I was going through some old vinyl the other day, deciding what to keep and what to let go.  I decided to hang on to the Ahmad Jamal and Oscar Peterson LPs, along with a few others.  Even in the 1950s, when Rock & Roll was being born and my father was a teenager, he gravitated toward jazz.  This clip is from the mid-60s, around the same time he would’ve met my mother, but I’m sure he’d been listening to Peterson long before.

He was a quirky dude, my father, with eclectic taste.  He loved jazz and poetry and archaeology.  He studied ancient Egypt as a hobby; he read The Iliad and The Odyssey to my brother (I remember hearing the Winnie the Pooh books).  He could recite pretty big chunks of “The Jabberwocky,” and would frequently read Robert Service poems out loud.  He liked to drink and talk and argue.  My grandmother used to say he never met a stranger.  My mother said once that he could build you a ladder to the moon, and come in on time and under budget.  He would always drop money in the Salvation Army’s red kettles at Christmas.  He stayed late at work when they ordered him to lay people off, trying to find ways to move the work and money around so that every member of his team could keep their jobs, calling in favors from other departments when he couldn’t keep someone in his.  He knew what it was like to be out of work, with a mortgage and family.  He used to tell tall tales about going on a cattle drive when he was a teenager (as if my grandmother would’ve allowed that).  He took us to the zoo to meet his elephant, Peach.  (I don’t remember how he acquired Peach, but he donated her to the San Diego Zoo when he found out how much elephants ate.  She lived there, then the Wild Animal Park–which goes by a different name now.  They shipped her off to Chicago a few years ago, where she died.)  He was a die-hard Yankees fan, and he loved the horse races.  He liked rooting for the underdog (I guess that’s where I get it), and he’d do anything for someone he called a friend.

That’s about all the memories I have the strength for right now.

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2 Responses to ““C Jam Blues””

  1. dan4kent said

    Stylin with a slow roll and a rapid-fire right hand over the top of the left which resonates underneath with a whole lot of Soul. Kudos for getting to the point where you did some reflecting on the man you knew as Dad. Like REALLY good music, it’s timeless…like your Dad. One sunrise at a time. You’re going to be fine. Later Gator. Your friend in Chicago. Dan

    • Thanks! It felt like the right time to get some of that out. I’ve got one more bit of Dad music to post. Then I’m going to try to get back into a proper jukebox rhythm again. After while, Crocodile. 😉

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