[Dixielandjazz] Bosendorfer Piano-Ringwald writes

Stephen G Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Fri Nov 13 08:44:54 PST 2009

Oscar Peterson was a Bosendorfer guy. He made a DVD in Vienna for  
their 175th Anniversary celebration. The DVD  "A Night in Vienna"  is  
superb, being done at the Musikverein (Concert Hall) there in 2003 or  
2004. I had a copy of it and passed it on to a list mate a while back.

Not only is the sound magnificent, the visuals are absolutely  
stunning. If you dig Peterson, you should have this. CAVEAT, it is  
modern jazz, but even so, the rendition of Sweet Georgia Brown is a  
complete gas. The Quartet is: Peterson: Niels H.O. Pederson, bass; Ulf  
Wakenius, guitar; Martin Drew, drums. This group knew how to play, no  
doubt about it. <grin>

Also, this is 11 years after he had his stroke, and he is "old". Not  
what he used to be, but if you can't hear his genius and it doesn't  
bring tears to your eyes to see him get a Standing O when he enters  
the hall, or when he finishes, you have NO SOUL.

Hear "Hymn to Freedom" from the DVD at: (the encore at concert end)

Or hear him when he was younger on Sweet Georgia Brown - Blistering  
Bass from Pederson and Brown. Blistering Stride on Peterson's solo.  
(after Pederson's)

I hope no one gives us that old "Too much technique hampers jazz"  
stuff. <grin>

BTW, if you have recent Oscar Peterson CDs say 1990 and later, chances  
are you are hearing a Bosendorfer. He fell in love with the brand in  
the late 1970s, played them when ever he could, and then in the 1990s/ 
2000s demanded them.

As an aside, about 10 years ago, my band did a summer party for one of  
the DuPont's at their estate in Centerville (Wilmington DE). We played  
by the pool and were using a pianist in the rhythm section. Mrs.  
DuPont invited him into the house to see and play their piano. It was  
a Bosendorfer model 290 Imperial Grand with 97 keys. He was blown away  
when he played it, partly because being a piano maven, he knew that  
Bartok, Debussey, Busoni, Ravel, Mussorgsky and others had written  
concertos specifically for this model. After that, he talked about  
playing that box for years.

Steve Barbone

On Nov 13, 2009, at 9:55 AM, Norman Vickers wrote:

> To:  Musicians & Jazzfans list; DJML
> From: Norman.
> Pianist/bandleader/famous father Bob Ringwald gives his own experience
> performing/recording on a Bosendorfer piano. He also gives  
> enlightening
> comments about other artists who have recorded on that instrument.
> Thanks, Bob.  ( Victor Horwitz-- see what you started.  I know you  
> said
> "enuf-already" but this in interesting stuff to a number of us.   
> This is not
> required reading.  There will be no quiz!  Smile)
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Robert Ringwald [mailto:rsr at ringwald.com]
> Sent: Thursday, November 12, 2009 9:33 PM
> To: Norman Vickers
> Subject: Bosendorfer Piano
> Someone mentioned that they thought they had a recording done on a
> Bosendorfer.
> I recorded my "Ringwald Rated R" album on a 92 key Bosendorfer in  
> 1983.  It
> was at the Old Town Music Hall in El Sugundo CA.  At that time the  
> piano was
> fairly new and had a very stiff action.  One of the songs I recorded  
> was a
> Boogie Woogie piece.  Because of the stiff action, it was very, very  
> hard,
> almost painful, to keep the repetitive Boogie figures going in my  
> left hand.
> I have since played on the piano and the action has loosened up a lot.
> You can hear two of the songs recorded on the Bosendorfer by me at
> www.ringwald.com/recordings.htm
> One is the Maple Leaf Rag and the other is Hard Hearted Hanna" on  
> which I
> also play banjo and bass.
> BTW- I did not use the extra 4-bass keys located under the hinged  
> cover.
> Incidentally, the great pianist Johnny Guarneri recorded at least 4- 
> albums
> on a Bosendorfer that I know of.  One was titled "
> Stealin' Apples".  I can't remember the title of the 2nd, but the  
> 3rd was an
> Ellington Tribute.
> The first two were issued under the TAZ-JAZ label.  The Ellington  
> album was
> recorded by TAZ-JAZ but was sold to someone else who issued it under a
> different label.
> Guarneri also recorded another album with a Bosendorfer for yet  
> another
> label.  I was present at that recording session.
> Jim Turner who now plays piano with the Jim Cullum Jazz Band of San  
> Antonio,
> was a sales manager for  Bosendorfer at one time.  During that time,  
> he sold
> 3-concert grands to Stevie
> Wonder, one for his house, one for his studio and one to take on tour.
> --Bob Ringwald K6YBV
> rsr at ringwald.com
> Fulton Street Jazz Band
> 916/806-9551
> <F  Norman Vickers.vcf>

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