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“This is a marvelous album by Oliver Nelson with Brilliant compositions and top players.
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#5 of 35 from Essential jazz Recordings. by
Blues & Abstract Truth
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Oliver Nelson had recorded several sessions for Prestige when the fledgling Impulse! label gave him the opportunity to make this septet date in 1961. The result was a rare marriage between an arranger-composer's conception and the ideal collection of musicians to execute it. The material is all based somehow on the blues, but Nelson's structural and harmonic extensions make it highly varied, suggesting ballads, hoedowns, and swing. The band is one of those groupings that seem only to have been possible around 1960, a roster so strong that the leader's name was actually listed fourth on the cover. Nelson shares the solo space with trumpeterFreddie Hubbard, alto saxophonist and flutistEric Dolphy, and pianistBill Evans, while bassistPaul Chambersand drummerRoy Haynescontribute support and baritone saxophonist George Barrow adds depth. In stark contrast to Dolphy's brilliant, convulsive explosions, Nelson's tenor solos are intriguingly minimalist, emphasizing a tight vibrato and unusual note choices. It's not quiteKind of Blue(nothing is), butBlues and the Abstract Truthis an essential recording, one that helped define the shape of jazz in the '60s. --Stuart Broomer
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Label: Grp Records
Artist: Oliver Nelson
Release Date: August 15, 1995

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