I had the opportunity to see the great Afro-Canadian jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, Danish bassist Niels Henning-Orsted Pedersen, American guitarist Joe Pass and the inimitable Ella Fitzgerald at the Tokyo Budokan in 1983. The show remains one of my treasured jazz memories.
At the 1977 Montreaux Jazz Festival Nils and Oscar play with Ray Brown. To my mind, Ray and Nils are perhaps the two greatest jazz bassists of the twentieth century. Each represents a different style of playing. Ray runs up and down the rhythm line and swings with such verve it is contagious. Nils plays all over the melody in a quiet yet complex manner. This version of ‘You Look Good to Me’ is an all-time top ten favorite for me. I never tire of listening to it nor watching these men transport me to a quiet place outside of daily time.
Duke Ellington described Oscar Pederson as the Maharaja of the Keyboard. I can only concur.