Just a Gigolo

Written by
Painting by Alex Katsenelson

This improvisation by Oscar Peterson, “Just a Gigolo”, is very special to me. I used to listen to it together with my son Jonah as I drove him to daycare on my way to work. It was our song. We had our favorite part (at the 1:54 mark). We loved it so much, we’d turn up the volume and listen to it several times each trip. It is still our song, but Jonah turned thirteen a few days ago and will have his bar mitzvah next week. According to Jewish tradition he is a man now. I want my little Jonah back. Music is almost like an amplifier of memories.

As I write this I realize that five years from now I’ll be remembering the time I spent with the five- and the thirteen-year-old Jonahs. And I’m thinking that maybe we live too much in the past and future and not enough in the now. I am off to pick up Jonah from his bar mitzvah lesson and drive him home. Enjoy the song. Live in the now.

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Oscar Peterson


  • blackbiz says:

    This article is about the Spencer Williams song commonly combined with ” Just a Gigolo “. For the Sly and the Family Stone song “I Ain’t Got Nobody (For Real)”, see Dance to the Music (Sly and the Family Stone album) § Track listing .

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