The Blues and the Abstract Truth
The Blues and the Abstract Truth is an album by American composer and jazz saxophonist 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-to-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 remains a key feature in the subtle voicings of Nelson's arrangements.
|The Blues and the Abstract Truth|
Original LP cover/1995 US CD issue
|Studio album by|
|Recorded||February 23, 1961|
|Studio||Van Gelder Studio|
Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
|Oliver Nelson chronology|
Second LP cover/1990 US CD issue
"Teenie's Blues" (stereo mix)
(Original Lp release)
|The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide|||
Among the pieces on the album, "Stolen Moments" is the best known: 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 two 12-bar choruses of bass solo by Chambers).
Nelson's later album, More Blues and the Abstract Truth (1964), features an entirely different (and larger) group of musicians and bears little resemblance to this record.
Writing in the December 21, 1961 issue of DownBeat magazine jazz critic Don DeMicheal commented:
Nelson's playing is like his writing: thoughtful, unhackneyed, and well constructed. Hubbard steals the solo honors with some of his best playing on record. Dolphy gets off some good solos too, his most interesting one on "Yearnin'".
The composition "Stolen Moments" has been recorded and performed by numerous musicians including Phil Woods, J. J. Johnson, Frank Zappa, Ahmad Jamal, Booker Ervin, the United Future Organization and the Turtle Island Quartet.
- All tracks composed by Oliver Nelson.
- "Stolen Moments" – 8:46
- "Hoe-Down" – 4:43
- "Cascades" – 5:32
- "Yearnin'" – 6:24
- "Butch and Butch" – 4:35
- "Teenie's Blues" – 6:33
- Freddie Hubbard – trumpet
- Eric Dolphy – alto saxophone (flute on "Stolen Moments")
- Oliver Nelson – tenor saxophone (alto saxophone on "Teenie's Blues")
- George Barrow – baritone saxophone
- Khan, Ashley (2007). The House That Trane Built: The Story of Impulse Records. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 44.
- Palmer, Richard (1990). "The Nelson Touch". Jazz Journal International. London: 10.
- DownBeat: December 21, 1961 Vol. 28, No. 26
- Nastos, Michael G. "The Blues and the Abstract Truth: review" AllMusic. Retrieved May 20, 2013.
- Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 151. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
- Oliver E. Nelson: Liner notes from Impulse! A-5, March 1961
- Rob Tannenbaum (August 4, 2009). "Tasty! Steely Dan Brings the Guitar Solos, Male Ponytails". vulture.com. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
- Electra Records album number 6E-241