Oliver Nelson – The Blues And The Abstract Truth at AXPONA 2015

Oliver Nelson The Blues and the Abstract Truth

I bought the DSD download of the Blues and the Abstract Truth album a couple of years ago and have been mesmerized by the all-time classic, “Stolen Moments”. Recorded over fifty years ago in 1961, this piece is a timeless beauty. Its indisputable beauty shines through in a three-part horn harmony fronting Freddie Hubbard’s lead trumpet melody.

At AXPONA, George Vatchnadze, Kyomi Audio, whipped out the 45RPM LP and spun “Hoedown” – which is quite different from the rest of the album in that it has a joyful, country flavour; I love the barking of the horns from the different speakers in a call & response. The music is infectious and makes the listener sit up & pay attention.

Blues and the Abstract Truth is Oliver Nelson’s triumph as a musician & composer for not only defining the sound of an era but also for assembling one of the most potent modern jazz sextets ever. Oliver Nelson, while a fine tenor sax player in his own right, is surrounded by extraordinary talent of Bill Evans (piano), Roy Haynes (drums), Eric Dolphy (flute & alto sax), Paul Chambers (bass) & Freddie Hubbard (trumpet).

Like Brubeck’s Time Out, Adderley’s Somethin’ Else and a handful of other jazz albums, Blues and the Abstract Truth will stand the test of time as one of the top dozen jazz albums from the fifties & sixties. Sound & Music quality – 10/10. Available on CD, SACD, LP or DSD download.

“The sweetest music this side of Heaven…” Louis Armstrong (BBC’s 30 minute 1968 interview)

Louis ArmstrongGrowing up on the other side of the pond, we were not exposed to Jazz and unfortunately never really came across such greats as Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong. In the mid nineties, I was working in the movie industry when Erik Henry, a visual effects supervisor (we met on one of the Aliens movies), brought Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong’s first collaboration on LP to listen to – I was floored. I immediately set out to buy as much Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong individual albums as I could lay my hands on. In Satchmo’s own words: “The sweetest music this side of Heaven…”  Continue reading