Brubeck / Peterson

Cowboys were known for their duels during the 19th century America. Jazz pianists followed during the early 20th century. Duke Ellington, Willy "the Lion" Smith, Fats Waller, Count Basie, and other stars of the geat old days of jazz fought their way up in smoke-filled bars, where they spent night after night battling their rivals. The duels on black and white keys were often accompanied by wild, competitive drinking binges. Two leading jazz pianists who in their early days got a glimpse of the wild era are still active today. Both have long established themselves as unquestioned champions in their field. Dave Brubeck celebrated his 80th birthday in 2000, and Oscar Peterson turned 75 the same year. To put the two side by side is particularly interesting because both say that they laid their fundament by studying classical music. Georg Hirsch gathered music by Peterson, Brubeck, and several sources of their inspiration, and he also talked with both artists.

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