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Every time these two geniuses worked together to record an album, a masterpiece was created. Their two distinctive fireworks type sounds work perfect! It’s hard though, for two heavy improvisers like Oliver Nelson and especially Eric Dolphy to pull it out make it work because of their domineering sounds but no problem. This is an outstanding’ unique Hard Bop album. Both artists played multiple instruments throughout, in this 1961 album “Straight Ahead” and which will be featured exclusively here on Jazz Con Class for a couple weeks. Afterwards it will be dropped inside the “Hard Bop” Playlist, meanwhile check the schedule link for play times, only the best for the listeners here, enjoy!

More on Album:

Straight Ahead is a jazz studio album by saxophonist Oliver Nelson. It features acclaimed musicians such as Eric Dolphy on sax, clarinet and flute (his last appearance on a Nelson album following a series of collaborations recorded for Prestige), and Roy Haynes on drums. It was recorded in March 1961 at the celebrated Van Gelder Studio in Englewood Cliffs. All the pieces were first takes; Joe Goldberg recalls: “The session was scheduled for one in the afternoon and I arrived at 3:30, thinking that by then the music would have been rehearsed and the men would be starting to play. What I found was a studio empty of everyone but…..Learn More

More on Oliver Nelson:

Oliver Nelson needs to be reconsidered by music listeners for what he was – one of the most significant jazz voices of his generation, and an important big band composer and arranger of the 1960s. Perhaps the skill he mastered most keenly was his ability to turn listeners on. As difficult as his music might have been to play, and as hard as it is to analyze, it is extremely easy to listen to.

Born June 4, 1932 in St. Louis, Oliver Nelson came from a musical family: His brother played saxophone with Cootie Williams in the Forties, and his sister was a singer- pianist. Nelson himself

began piano studies at age six and saxophone at eleven. In the late ‘40’s he played in various territory bands and then spent 1950-51 with Louis Jordan’s big band. After two years in a Marine Corps ensemble, he returned to St. Louis to study composition and theory at both Washington and Lincoln universities.

After graduation in 1958, Nelson moved to New York and played with Erskine Hawkins, Wild Bill Davis, and Louie Bellson. He also became the house arranger for the Apollo Theatre in Harlem. Though he began recording as a leader in 1959, Nelson’s breakthrough came in 1961 with…..Learn More

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