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Oliver Nelson Sextet – The Blues and The Abstract Truth


Published on May 17, 2005

Oliver Nelson Sextet – The Blues and The Abstract Truth
Oliver Nelson Sextet – The Blues and The Abstract Truth (Nelson,
alto & tenor sax; Eric Dolphy, alto sax & flute; Freddie
Hubbard, trumpet; George Barrow, baritone sax; Bill Evans, piano; Paul
Chambers, bass; Roy Haynes, drums) – Impulse AS-5/Speakers Corner ****:

Oliver Nelson was one of the great arrangers in modern jazz, who came
to attention with his series of small-group LPs on the Prestige label.
This 1961 release was a bigger budget effort with more time, and the
ability to secure Bill Evans and Freddie Hubbard for the session. He
wrote and arranged all six tracks especially for the recording. The
alto and flute solos of Eric Dolphy added a great deal to the ensemble
and are one of the highlights of this disc. Nelson strove to put the
blues in modern garb and his superb charts used for this session are
studied today in jazz schools as examples of the best techniques. He
played around with unusual keys and tonal centers, and with blues
structures that were not limited to the standard 12 or 32 bars. This is
pretty dense and chromatic stuff – not your typical Basie arrangements
- but careful listening reveals many treasures. Sonics are first rate
of course.

Tracks: Stolen Moments, Hoe-Down, Cascades, Yearnin,’ Butch and Butch, Tennie’s Blues.

- John Henry




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