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Old Jun 1, 2012, 10:42 PM
Gavin Walker Gavin Walker is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
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Jazz Feature for June 4:Oliver Nelson:"The Blues And The Abstract Truth"

Tonight on the Jazz Feature is a recording that not only stands as a true classic but one that usually makes the top 10 lists of "desert island" discs. "The Blues And The Abstract Truth" by tenor/alto saxophonist/composer/arranger Oliver Nelson is just that....a classic and a treasured recording date. It also gives The Jazz Show a chance to celebrate what would have been the birthday of this Jazz great. He would have been 80. Sadly Mr. Nelson died, from a heart attack on October 27,1975 at age 43, far too young. Nelson emerged on the national music scene in 1959 and his first date was for Prestige/New Jazz Records and called "Meet Oliver Nelson" (it was a Jazz Feature on April 23,2012) and the album presented a fresh new voice of the tenor saxophone plus a fine composer/arranger. Tonight's Feature is representative of an early peak in Nelson's development. The six compositions are his and he is heard on both tenor and alto (Nelson's favourite horn). He had recorded a couple of fine albums in this style for Prestige/New Jazz with a few of the musicians used here but this album truly represents a refinement of his style and concept.

Mr. Nelson was very pleased to be asked to record for a then new label called "Impulse Records". These early Impulse albums were produced by the redoubtable Creed Taylor and were class A productions with great sound quality and deluxe fold-out covers. Nelson was given carte-blanche to pick his sidemen for the date and the line-up is very impressive. A young and vital Freddie Hubbard is on trumpet and one of Oliver's favourite musicians is featured on alto saxophone and flute: that musician is the legendary Eric Dolphy (Nelson had used Eric on several of his Prestige/New Jazz albums). George Barrow plays a very important non-soloing role in the horn section anchoring it with his strong baritone saxophone. The rhythm section is a dream one indeed! Bill Evans on piano, Paul Chambers on bass and "Mr. Snap-Crackle", Roy Haynes on drums. All of the tunes are finely crafted and sound like the band had played together for years...kudos to Mr. Nelson who was a stickler for tight ensembles and clean playing. The tunes are all hummable and largely based on the blues (hence the album title) but one tune stands out and became a Jazz classic. It's a blues in C minor and called "Stolen Moments"....I'm sure most of us can hum this melody as it has been heard and recorded by dozens of great players. Happy 80th to one of the true creative "giants of Jazz":Mr. Oliver Edward Nelson!

The Oliver Nelson Jazz Feature will be heard shortly after 11pm (as usual) but try to tune in right at 9pm as I'll be playing, among other things, many of the artists who will be appearing at this year's Jazz Festival....think Terrell Stafford, George Benson, The Cookers, Diane Reeves and more! See you then........................................................................
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