The Blues and the Abstract Truth

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COMPOSERS: Oliver Nelson
LABELS: Impulse!
WORKS: The Blues and the Abstract Truth
PERFORMER: Nelson (ts); Freddie Hubbard (t); Eric Dolphy (as, f); Bill Evans (p); Paul Chambers (b); Roy Haynes (d) George Barrow (bar-s)
CATALOGUE NO: IMP 11542 (distr. New Note)


Recorded in 1961, time has not diminished this gem of the jazz canon. Nelson’s hand-picked group brought together some of the finest musicians in jazz and the wonder was that each was in peak form and itching to play on the day they recorded. At least two of the originals Nelson wrote for the session have become jazz classics; ‘Stolen Moments’, with one of Eric Dolphy’s finest solos, and the ever-fresh boppish tribute to country music, ‘Hoe-Down’.


Bill Evans and Freddie Hubbard, within the parameters of their highly influential yet contrasting styles, contribute solos such as those on ‘Yearnin’’ that have been studied and admired by young musicians since the day the album hit the shops. Re-mastered using the 20-Bit Super Mapping technique, thus avoiding the truncation and dithering that often occur using the somewhat inadequate industry norm of 16 bits, the sound is perfect, particularly in the higher frequencies. A reissue to be cherished. Stuart Nicholson