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Oscar Peterson/Milt Jackson/Ray Brown: The Very Tall Band/Live At The Blue Note

Mark Corroto By

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Sure I’m a fan of Tiger Woods, but sometimes I like to watch the Senior PGA Tour. Even though my heroes of yesterday Hale Irwin, Jack Nicklaus, and Gary Player don’t hit the ball as long or putt as well as the modern player, their games remind me of the glories of the past. Like the Senior Tour, the reunion of The Very Tall Band is memorable. Oscar Peterson isn’t as quick at the keyboards as his protégé Benny Green, nor can Milt Jackson push the envelope on the vibes like Steve Nelson, and Ray Brown can’t record one every musicians dates like Christian McBride. What these seventy-something gentlemen do is draw upon their jazz lives. For Ray Brown, his career spans the birth of bebop, playing with Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and Bud Powell, then accompanying his wife Ella Fitzgerald and onto his own famous trios. Milt Jackson also played with Diz and Bird, plus Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane before forming the Modern Jazz Quartet and the concept of chamber jazz. Oscar Peterson, Canada’s favorite jazz son was foisted upon the jazz world by Norman Granz Jazz at the Philharmonic. Soon his speed, dexterity and keyboard prowess made him a heir to the Art Tatum legacy. This live date from 1998 is only the third time this trio has recorded together. Covering mostly standards, the three sound as if they have been playing together since before Wynton and crew were born. Loose and bluesy, the band like my all-time favorite Arnold Palmer just keeps on swinging.

Track List:Ja-da; SKJ; I Remember Clifford; When Summer Comes; Blues For JR; Nature Boy; Sometimes I’m Happy; Bass Solo Medley: Full Moon and Empty Arms/The Very Thought Of You/The Work Song; Caravan.


Personnel: Oscar Peterson

Title: The Very Tall Band/Live At The Blue Note | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Telarc Records

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