Another one of an era, Oscar Peterson, died today at age 82. He was the finest jazz painist of the age (you might argue that the pianist who influenced him most, Art Tatum, was better, but that's a matter of taste). I saw him once in concert (with my friend Jeff) playing solo at the Seattle Bumpershoot festival. Must have been about 30 years ago exactly. I love his recordings with Count Basie, and of course his trio recordings, always with Ray Brown on the bass, and Barney Kessel or Herb Ellis on the guitar. Most of the jazz greats of that era have now left us.
Here is the Wikipedia link for more information on Oscar: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_Peterson, as well as today's initial obit in the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/arts/AP-Obit-Oscar-Peterson.html?hp
There's still a lot of great jazz out there. Took my son Gil for his 16th birthday to the Tel Aviv Museum the other night to see Eric Alexander, truly one of the great tenor sax players around today. Doesn't matter how fast he plays - you can actually here EVERY note. Anyone interested should catch him some time at Smoke up on 106th in NYC, gernerally together with David Hazletine on the paino and John Farnsworth on the drums.