sexta-feira, 26 de abril de 2013

The Blues and the Abstract / Oliver Nelson

The Blues and the Abstract Truth is a jazz album by Oliver Nelson recorded in February 1961. It remains Nelson's most acclaimed album and features a lineup of notable musicians: Freddie Hubbard, Eric Dolphy (his second last appearance on a Nelson album following a series of collaborations recorded for Prestige), Bill Evans (his only appearance with Nelson), Paul Chambers and Roy Haynes. Baritone saxophonist George Barrow does not take solos, but still remains a key feature in the subtle voicings of Nelson's arrangements.

The album is an exploration of the mood and structure of the blues, though only some of the tracks are structured in the conventional 12-bar blues form. In this regard, it may be seen as a continuation of the trend towards greater harmonic simplicity and subtlety via reimagined versions of the blues that was instigated by Miles Davis's Kind of Blue in 1959 (Evans and Chambers played on both albums). Among the pieces on the album, "Stolen Moments" is the most famous: a sixteen-bar piece in an eight-six-two pattern, even though the solos are in a conventional 12-bar minor-key blues structure in C minor. "Hoe-Down" is built on a forty-four-bar structure (with thirty-two-bar solos based on "rhythm changes"). "Cascades" modifies the traditional 32-bar AABA form by using a 16-bar minor blues for the A section, stretching the form to a total of 56 bars. The B-side of the album contains three tracks that hew closer to the 12-bar form: "Yearnin'", "Butch and Butch" and "Teenie's Blues" (which opens with an essential 12-bar bass solo by Chambers).
Nelson's later 1964 album, More Blues and the Abstract Truth, features an entirely different band and bears little resemblance to this record.
In 2008 pianist Bill Cunliffe released the tribute album The Blues and the Abstract Truth, Take 2, featuring new arrangements of the original pieces.

All tracks composed by Nelson.

  1. "Stolen Moments" - 8:46
  2. "Hoe-Down" - 4:43
  3. "Cascades" - 5:32
  4. "Yearnin'" - 6:24
  5. "Butch and Butch" - 4:35
  6. "Teenie's Blues" - 6:33
Oliver Nelson — alto saxophone, tenor saxophone
Eric Dolphy — flute, alto saxophone
George Barrow — baritone saxophone
Freddie Hubbard — trumpet
Bill Evans — piano
Paul Chambers — bass
Roy Haynes — drums

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