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Album Review

A very interesting quintet set, Straight Ahead matches together Oliver Nelson (on alto and tenor) and Eric Dolphy (tripling on alto, flute, and bass clarinet). With the assistance of pianist Richard Wyands, bassist George Duvivier, and drummer Roy Haynes, the two reedmen battle it out on six compositions (five of Nelson's originals plus Milt Jackson's "Ralph's New Blues." Although none of Nelson's tunes caught on, this is a pretty memorable date. It certainly took a lot of courage for Oliver Nelson to share the front line with the colorful Eric Dolphy, but his own strong musical personality holds its own on this straight-ahead date.

Customer Reviews

Straight Ahead, Oliver Nelson with Eric Dolphy

Great record! Nelson and Dolphy compliment each other perfectly, Mr Inside and Mr Outside; they really swing with a great rhythm section!


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