Oscar Peterson is one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time. A native of Montreal, he studied classical piano from the age of six, and started winning talent contests at fourteen. In his later teens, Peterson came to the attention of Norman Granz, who is responsible for making Peterson one of the most recorded pianists in history. Indeed, it was the Verve founder who made the young Canadian his house pianist, starting in the early 1950s. Peterson's influences were Art Tatum, Nat "King" Cole, Teddy Wilson and Earl Hines. His playing could be described as elegant, flashy and intricate. Many feel his most exquisite work has been in a trio format, first with Herb Ellis and Ray Brown, and then later with Brown and ace drummer Ed Thigpen. He has recorded well over 100 albums as a leader, and in addition to Verve he has recorded for Mercury, Pablo, and most recently Telarc.