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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truth and beauty, 15 May 2003
By 
S. Appleby "Bookgeek-in-Chief" (Lamarsh, Suffolk United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This album is surely the stellar contribution of saxophonist and composer / arranger Oliver Nelson to the world of jazz; his most essential CD. Others have compared this session with Miles Davis's 'Kind of Blue', and the two have plenty in common: two of the musicians (Bill Evans on piano and Paul Chambers on bass) played on both sessions; more importantly, a unifying musical vision for the session, in this case the intention being to explore the relevance of the 12-bar blues form to modern jazz on 6 original Oliver Nelson compositions.
If that sounds like a slightly 'muso' objective (and for the non-muso, Oliver Nelson's liner notes may re-inforce that impression), then it does not affect the reality that the end result is a marvellous example of small-group jazz in both the compositional and improvisational fields, with outstanding solos from some of the greats - Bill Evans, Freddie Hubbard, the tragically short-lived Eric Dolphy (on saxophone and a great flute solo on 'Stolen Moments') and Nelson himself, often under-rated as a player.
Standout tracks are the opening 'Stolen Moments', which became a jazz standard, the playful 'Hoe-Down' and the tender 'Yearnin', but the (abstract) truth is that the tracks are all beautiful and that this is a jazz album that stands on its merits as an album or suite, because that is how it was conceived. A such, it belongs in any self-respecting jazz CD collection.
(Note: this album should not be confused with the patchy follow-up 'More Blues and the Abstract Truth', where Nelson did not play himself, where the musicians were not of the same calibre and where Nelson originals were mixed in with other compositions.)
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Masterpiece, 30 Jun 2003
By 
Mr Cane Toad (Bangor, North Wales) - See all my reviews
Where do you start with this album? It's melodic and beautifully arranged but has space for Eric Dolphy's twisted solos, it manages a bit of country jazz with 'Hoedown' without sounding trite, in short it's close to perfection. Oliver Nelson went on to work in more mainstream music but on this album he still had a real edge. With an ensemble including Bill Evans, Eric Dolphy and Freddie Hubbard this was the pinnacle of his involvement with jazz and one of the very best albums of its time. Frank Zappa even plays a note for note version of the standout Track 'Stolen Moments' on one of his live albums.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic by any Standard, 17 Jun 2006
By 
Big A (Bodrum, Turkey) - See all my reviews
From the hauntingly beautiful opening bars of Stolen Moments right through to the last track, Teenie's Blues, this is a masterpiece. Freddie Hubbard is outstanding thoughout, exceptional on Yearnin', and Eric Dolphy's entrance on Butch and Butch just hooked me forever. Oliver Nelson was a superb tenor player, but it is without doubt his compositions and arrangements that stand out here. Man, did he understand the blues?! Listen to him on Stolen Moments...

As for Bill Evans, whose solos are never less than intelligent here, and Paul Chambers and Roy Haynes - they never intrude but complement perfectly.

Other 'classics' may - nay, HAVE paled with time though they have not given anything from their importance, but the key thing with this session is that it has never lost its freshness, which is what makes it outstanding.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Modern Jazz, 13 July 2011
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An essential album for anyone interested in the jazz of the period and a great early showcase for Eric Dolphy.
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