Oscar Pettiford

Pettiford with Duke Ellington.

Pettiford with Duke Ellington.

I'll be performing with my Oscalypso project March 23, at 830p. Come and hear this great man's music.

Oscar Pettiford (1922-­1960) was a musical dynamo; a prolific and innovative virtuoso and composer who pioneered and contextualized solo cello within the Jazz vernacular. Born into a musical family on an Indian reservation in Oklahoma, Pettiford began playing bass at age fourteen and by his early twenties was recording and playing with the likes of Coleman Hawkins, Thelonious Monk, Errol Garner, Sonny Rollins and Max Roach. Like so many others of the bebop generation, Pettiford’s bullheaded character and fierce drive gave way to a personal mythology which rivaled his creative legacy in both intensity and scope.

Described by his peers and contemporaries as a deeply difficult, competitive and troubled man, Pettiford was often confrontational with other players and seemingly dissatisfied with his perceived lack of recognition within the larger Jazz community. However, half a century after his death, Pettiford’s tremendous impact on Jazz music and exploration of the melodic and rhythmic boundaries of the bass and cello have secured Pettiford as a unique and eminent figure in the evolution and creation of timeless, passionate and deeply emotive music.



OSCALYPSO:  Erik Friedlander, cello; Michael Blake, saxophone; Trevor Dunn, bass; Michael Sarin, drums.

March 23, 830p
Rockwood Music Hall Stage #3
185 Orchard St,
New York, NY 10002