6 Songs, 36 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

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.

EDITORS’ NOTES

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.

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