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Editors’ Notes

The late composer/arranger and reeds player Oliver Nelson is best known for his 1961 classic, Blues and the Abstract Truth, but he created a number of other fine albums that display his considerable skills. On Fantabulous, recorded in Chicago in 1964, Nelson leads a 12-piece band through six originals. (The album also includes “Daylie’s Double,” a piece by his wife, Audrey, along with a version of Billy Taylor’s “A Bientot.”) Phil Woods, on clarinet and alto sax, and drummer Grady Tate are two of the better-known players here, but the whole band performs with verve and sensitivity. The writing on Fantabulous is full of interesting textures and swinging rhythms, and the solos are top-notch. With its lovely horns and mysterious flutes, “Take Me With You” evokes the lush side of Ellington, while a version of “Teenie’s Blues,” a composition that also appeared on Blues and the Abstract Truth, sounds great in this edgy, large-ensemble version. Nelson blows like mad on the track and one of the disc’s secret weapons — pianist Patti Bown — plays a wild solo.

Customer Reviews


This is the BEST jazz release of 2008, PERIOD! Great sound quality, superb musicianship. The perfect big band album. You will not be disappointed.


Born: June 4, 1932 in St. Louis, MO

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s

Oliver Nelson was a distinctive soloist on alto, tenor, and even soprano, but his writing eventually overshadowed his playing skills. He became a professional early on in 1947, playing with the Jeter-Pillars Orchestra and with St. Louis big bands headed by George Hudson and Nat Towles. In 1951, he arranged and played second alto for Louis Jordan's big band, and followed with a period in the Navy and four years at a university. After moving to New York, Nelson worked briefly with Erskine Hawkins,...
Full Bio
Fantabulous, Oliver Nelson
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  • $7.92
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Hard Bop
  • Released: Mar 19, 1964

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