Easy Acid Listening

I think this is the only picture I've seen of the famous 303/606 duo being used as intended: as organ-top auto-accompaniament boxes. Anyone who has used a 303 or Propellorheads Rebirth knows that it's a right arse trying to produce anything with it other than semi-random machine-squelch, so I'd love to hear these two devices being used without irony on some sort of easy listening track or something. I came across this picture on someones myspace profile (can't remember whose now, sorry!) and I don't know anything about this Oscar Peterson character or if he actually used the gear shown here, let alone recorded any tracks with them, so if any one has any further info or recorded examples of pre-acid 303/606 usage please get in touch.

Oscar Peterson was a major player in the Jazz scene. Recorded numerous albums over the 50's & 60's era.
err. this is a joke right? Oscar Peterson was one of the greatest jazz pianists of the 20th century. And the idea that he recorded anything with these boxes is far fetched to say the least.
You would think so Anon... but I saw a documentary piece on the CBC recently about him.

He is currently living in Mississuaga (a suburb of Toronto, Canada). The documentary mentioned that he is working on new material using synths and midi. Unfortunately, they then showed him sitting in his home-studio, playing a track for the camera crew. It was blindingly awful AOR midi-crap.

Seriously, this is no joke.
I'd guess this was the myspace place you got it from:

Why do the most talented musicians always lose touch of what is good music making? I mean there are so many examples of this...
yeah, the only shocking thing is not knowing Oscar, not that Oscar's now doing New Age crap...

We Canadians have so few musical heroes, we take Oscar very seriously... VERY seriously (in a polite way, of course).

In Scorsese's Blues doc you've got Ray Charles somewhat sad that he can't play as well as Oscar... At least, that's how I remember it.

Nonetheless, that pic is -awesome-. Smiling away, saying, "heh heh... I'm gonna play some Rock-it!"

Oh, wait...that was the other guy...
Oscar Peterson's home studio

"Since the early 1980's, Oscar has embraced electronic music wholeheartedly in that the tools help him to compose, and especially orchestrate, more quickly and effectively than traditional methods. Oscar has, in his home, a state of the art recording studio and music room that accommodates his keyboards, synthesizers, sequencers and computers, all for the purpose of creating more music." - from Oscar Peterson's webpage

Seriously, it was some awful stuff.
not exactly easy-listening, but there's a 303 squelching away in shannon's good old "let the music play"
Peterson apparently had a PPG, a Gleeman pentaphonic and an Oberheim 4-voice so i guess he was quite the gearhead.
The pre-acid 303 was used as the bass sound on 80s smooth-soul merchants Imagination's hits "Body Talk" & "Just An Illusion" from 1982 (you can hear them make good use of the glide (doing an imitation of the then-in-vogue fretless bass slide), but no filter-tweaking).

Filter tweaking was in full effect, however, on Heaven 17's "Let Me Go", again from 1982.

There is a chance that it's another Roland monosynth I guess, but that's what they sound like to me...
I'm a massive Oscar Peterson fan... he's done over a hundred albums you know! I agree that his earlier stuff was definately his best, but many people believe he's never fully recovered from a major stroke in 1993. He also suffers from arthritis which is a pianists nightmare.

I thoroghly recommend his albums "Night Train" and "Soul Espanol" for anybody interested in Jazz piano.
Weren't those boxes originally supposed to be composition/demo tools? Seems like it's not substantially different conceptually from the built in drum machines or auto-chord stuff in a lot of home organs in an earlier era. And if you're working more intricate or tricky stuff, the 303 aned 606 proably have an edge.
I saw Imagination play live and the bass player played those lines with a fretlass bass and an Electro harmonix synth pedal - no 303 in sight !
There's 303 & 606 all over early 80's electro...

And Eric, The bass on The imagination stuff is an Oscar (topical) monosynth+live fretless bass... It's still stacked gathering dust in the corner of Leee's home studio..

+ I got to play one of Oscar Petersons old pianos in a little music shop off the Florida keys, it was like totally worn out but played like an absolute dream, the keys had sunk about 1/4inch down..

I would have bought it if i'd had the $18,000 (1999) spare, oh well never mind eh! :0(
The resonant synth in "Let The Music Play" is definately not a 303. I should have expected that people would start identifying any semi-squelchy resonant sound as being 303. :(

I'm glad Imagination was mentioned. There's also Paul Haig - "Justice", Alexander Robotnik - "Problems D'amour", Chris & Cosey - "Dancing Ghosts", I think it makes a couple of appearences on Ice-T's Rhyme Pays album. Uhhh. That's all I'm coming up with right now.
Oscar Peterson was especially excited about the Synclavier and he had one in his home studio throughout the 1980s (heck, he may still have it tucked away in a corner somewhere).
Two things: I remember seeing a documentary about Oscar in the eighties on the CBC and he was demoing what I remember as a Synclavier. The TV crew watched in amazement as he printed out score of something he just played. I think our national broadcaster is obliged to make a doc about Oscar every five years or so. He has survived Arthritis and many of his contemporaries. I am no jazz fan but Oscar gets props all round.
Second thing. It was unverifiable but I believed I owned a JP-8000 that used to belong to Oscar or one of his band. Supposedly he gets lots of promo stuff to try out and the cast offs make their way to used music stores around Toronto. The really heavy duty hardshell case (pinkish purple) had the stickers from a good european tour still attached. Never got into the JP8000 or 8080 so I sold it a bought and SunSyn.
a fair bit of 606 in reggae pre-acid
wackies=african roots vol3
lazy body - echo minott
burial tonight - tena stelin etc etc

Pete Murder Tone
I read somwhere that he is a friend of Ikutaro Kakehashi founder of the Roland Corp.
I used to work in a local Toronto music store and personally sold his used Andromeda synth. He has ALL the toys, without question.
Another interesting synth that Oscar owned was a Waldorf Wave....
Nothing to do with Mr. Peterson, of course, but I read somewhere that all synth parts i.e. practically everything except the drums on Shannon's "Let The Music Play" were done on a Roland Jupiter 8.
Oscar Peterson + Ray Brown + Ed Thigpen = Best Piano Trio Ever.

Any and all electronic music sins may be forgiven in a second because of this.

Also, who in jazz didn't get into some regrettable stuff in the 80s? :)
My music school has his old MCI 24 channel console that used to be in his "B" studio. I give him props because he's a sick piano player AND a gear head!
i feel this is a hoax - fake pic ...
He lives less than an hour away from mey! Just down the highway! I will call him up and buy him a lunch!

Fame and Food!
There some awesome stuff here:

On his album 'Night Child' he plays the Rhodes, which gets pretty funky here and there, but also features rich harmonic stuff. And his son (seen in the video above) is on the album cover :)
The movie "Liquid Sky" (1982) has a scene of a lady singing in a club using just a TR-606 and TB-303 for the music.

In the late 80's/early 90's I worked with a guy who had a part-time gig as a recording engineer for Oscar's home studio in Mississauga.

I had the opportunity to visit there once with my friend. The studio was pro-grade (24 trk 2" tape at that time), and when I visited he was playing around with a Synclavier (if I recall correctly), and had a whack of other modern keyboards. The guy is seriously open-minded about new technology.

And, he was a gracious host and is one of the nicest guys on the planet.
tb-303 tr-606 ?






303 & 808 Minimal acid

he does loads of acid with 303's 606's 707's
I heard a rumor that Michael Jackson used a 303 in one of this pop star tracks in the 80's, but I couldn't say which one.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yimMNFCWQqg is part 1 of 3 of some home video footage from the 80s showing 606 + 303s being used as intended. Interesting stuff.
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