Recorded way back in 1961 and featuring a veritable roll call of jazz greats this beautiful album has long been regarded as a classic of the chamber -jazz kind.The level of artistry is astonishing. Master arranger and saxophonist Oliver penned six classic swinging and harmonically sophisticated blues inspired tunes and let them loose on a wonderful band with predictably appealing results.From the opening tune, the cool toned 'Stolen Moments' the listener can sit back and relax, knowing that they hear a set where inspiration and discipline run together. This is no big star 'blowing session' but a highly inspired meditation on what a versatile form the blues really is in the right hands.
If you enjoyed the unhurried introspection of 'Kind of Blue',or melodic musings of Gill Evans and Gerry Mulligan on 'The Birth of the Cool' sessions then this set is a must. There is so much to enjoy here, but I want to highlight the stately 'Yearnin'. It features the sort of spare piano intro from Bill Evans that would have made Ellington or Basie proud,as a prelude to scorching solos from alto sax man Eric Dolphy and trumpeter Freddie Hubbard,before ending on a lovely orchestrated motif that hints at gospel as well jazz and blues.
So a recommended purchase. Great sound, exhaustive sleeve-notes and of course, marvelous music that even the jazz agnostics amongst us could enjoy make this album an essential purchase.