Oscar, With Love
(Mack Avenue Records)
In 2015, Mack Avenue assembled a who’s who of jazz piano to pay tribute to Oscar Peterson on the three-disc collection Oscar, With Love. It’s fair to say that Peterson, who died in 2007, exerted a powerful influence on each of the participants, who spanned generations from Kenny Barron and Michel Legrand to Hiromi and Justin Kauflin. Certainly, the life and career of Benny Green were significantly impacted by his association with Peterson; in 1993, the Canadian-born piano legend bestowed the first-ever Glen Gould International Protégé Prize in Music upon the emergent Berkeley, California-raised talent; five years later, he shared the billing with him on the collaborative release Oscar and Benny. So Green was a natural for inclusion on the tribute album, on which he takes a gleeful yet relaxed solo-piano stroll through Peterson’s “Cool Walk,” capturing the great joy and excitement that were hallmarks of the tributee.