Thursday, 16 May 2019

Oliver Nelson ‎– The Blues And The Abstract Truth (1961)

Style: Hard Bop, Modal
Format: CD, Vinyl, Cass.
Label: Impulse!

1.   Stolen Moments
2.   Hoe Down
3.   Cascades
4.   Yearnin'
5.   Butch And Butch
6.   Teenie's Blues

Credits: Alto Saxophone, Flute – Eric Dolphy Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Written-By – Oliver Nelson Baritone Saxophone – George Barrow Bass – Paul Chambers (3) Drums – Roy Haynes Piano – Bill Evans Trumpet – Freddie Hubbard
Producer – Creed Taylor

Nelson himself called this his breakthrough album, when he learned how to write tunes and voice arrangements in a wholly personal style. It certainly contains his best-ever improvising, an inspired series of solos that hold their own alongside those of heavyweights Hubbard, Dolphy and Evans. Basing the entire set on the blues (something Dave Brubeck also did around that time on Time Further Out) was an inspired idea, giving Nelson the opportunity to stretch his imagination on a familiar but non-specific framework far away from the architecture of Broadway songs and to pace a whole album so that it coheres as an overall musical experience. 
Perhaps Mingus’ ventures into this type of approach were influential in his thinking, but whatever the source for this, it remains an ideally conceived and perfectly executed mid-20th century jazz classic. This reissue is a no-nonsense serving of the record accompanied by Nelson’s original liner notes. Universal have opted to use the original print-run cover with the piano strings photo rather than the re-thought moody profile shot of Nelson himself that was hastily substituted and which, in my humble opinion, is far superior. Sometimes it’s a case of how echt can you get. 
Keith Shadwick / Jazzwise

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