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The Blues and the Abstract Truth

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On a lot of jazz albums, the compositions are simply starting points for soloists to jump off from. This isn’t the case on The Blues and the Abstract Truth, where Nelson’s sophisticated pieces themselves shine brightly. A crack group is on hand to perform these gems, including the indisputable classic, “Stolen Moments.” Among the soloists, Eric Dolphy’s sound is instantly recognizable, and as was his wont, the great alto saxophonist takes things further out into space than his stellar colleagues do. But don’t overlook Nelson’s highly expressive sax work, a sort of personalized take on the innovations of John Coltrane. The dream rhythm section of drummer Roy Haynes and bassist Paul Chambers swing with warmth and subtlety, never distracting from Nelson’s striking melodies and elegant harmonies. Freddie Hubbard’s definitive hard bop trumpet and Bill Evans’s cool fingerings lend more individualized hues to this fine album. At times, the septet’s overall sound is so lush that you’d think it was a big band (and even though he doesn’t get to bust out, baritone saxophonist George Barrow contributes to this effect). The Blues and the Abstract Truth is a hard bop milestone.

Customer Reviews

Classic Jazz

Sound quality and sound engineering is superb. Masterful arrangements. All - star band. Flawless.


Been listening to this recording for 4 decades...never gets old!


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,...
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Top Albums and Songs by Oliver Nelson

The Blues and the Abstract Truth, Oliver Nelson
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  • $6.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Hard Bop
  • Released: 1961

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