Just a Gigolo

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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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Leonello Casucci
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 .

  • Martha Knight says:

    ahhhhh Oscar. He and Art Tatum both owned those 88. Dazzling technique, always in the service of musical creativity, not just showmanship.

  • Mervyn Alexander says:

    Hi Vitaliy, Your comment about ‘we’ not living ‘enough in the now’,reminds me of the following stanza in Longfellow’s Psalm of Life’:”Trust no Future however pleasant!
    Let the dead Past bury its dead!
    Act-act in the living Present!
    Heart within and God o’erhead!
    I think however that we should cherish the many pleasant memories of the past and also learn how to avoid repetition of the unpleasant events so as to improve our living in the now.As we ‘act in the living Present’, as the Poet expressed it.

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