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Very Tall, the initial 1961 summit that found pianist Oscar Peterson and vibist Milt Jackson combining forces (with Ray Brown on bass), is considered by many to be among the most artistically successful collaborations in the careers of both musicians. A long 37 years later, and despite Peterson's 1993 stroke, all three were still going strong when they hooked up as "the Very Tall Band" to play a series of dates at New York's prestigious Blue Note. Telarc previously released one set of recordings made at the shows, simply called Live at the Blue Note, but this sequel, What's Up?: The Very Tall Band, repeats none of the material from that album, and serves as proof that everything the trio produced on those dates -- with young drummer Karriem Riggins keeping pace -- was nothing less than sublime. Peterson and Jackson (who has since died, as has Brown) allow each other all the space required to stretch out, but the brightest sparks come from the spontaneous interactions. On the Dizzy Gillespie standard "Salt Peanuts," Jackson is particularly sparkling, and Peterson makes the most of Lester Young's simple, unhurried "Ad Lib Blues." But when the quartet is locked into a groove together, as on "Limehouse Blues" and "The More I See You," that's when the specialness of this rare occasion is made clear once again.
Performance CreditsOscar Peterson Primary Artist,Piano
Milt Jackson Vibes
Ray Brown Bass,Upright Bass
Karriem Riggins Drums
Technical CreditsElaine Martone Producer,Audio Production
Amit Peleg Live Mixing
Jack Renner Engineer
Robert Woods Executive Producer
Anilda Carrasquillo Art Direction
Chaz Clifton Live Mixing