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JazzLover451

Revisiting Oliver Nelson - Help Appreciated

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If I remember correctly, there's a photo of the Jazz Interactions Orchestra in the Mosaic booklet taken by our very own Brownie. Will have to check..

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Jazz Interactions Orchestra "Jazzhattan Suite" Verve records. Included in Mosaic O Nelson set and partially on Verve Jazz Masters 48.

Damn, I forgot about that one. How is that LP? I had a chance to buy it at a used record store, but it was kind of pricey. I think there was a Phil Woods feature on it. How is that?

I remember I was working with George Barrows the day ON died; he was shocked. According to a book I was reading, ON got a lot of grief from black musicians because he used white guys like Woods and Ed Shaughnessey on his records.

They used to slide pictures of slave ships under his door.

ON said he just wanted to use musicians who could play his music the best it could be played.

Jazzhattan Suite is an exceptional album. "A Penthouse Dawn" has some sweet and beautiful moments in the writing and in Phil's blowing. I always felt that Oliver and Phil had a spritual connection in their playing...a beauty that surfaced when Phil was blowing lead alto on Oliver's charts or the respect Phil payed Oliver whenever he soloed in Oliver's band. Jazzhattan Suite, is for me, the big band Nelson album where everything came together beautifully - not like "Full Nelson" on Verve where you wonder what's at the heart and soul of it all or why the session didn't really impact.

Ohh- how could I pass that up? :huh: Oliver must have loved Phil, if just for the reason that he seemed to be the only cat in the band that came out okay at the end of the title cut from "More Blues and the Abstract Truth" :D

Jazz Interactions was such a hip thing. It's hard to believe that this is the same NYC as it was back in the 70s. What is the eqivalent of JI today- JALC? :wacko:

Beginners (such as I) were allowed to have free group lessons with the best players in NY.

I still remember the first day when some guy with a bad eye stood in front of the class and gave us our introduction to the program. It turned out to be Howard McGhee! :rolleyes:

The thankfully late Mayor Kochsucker can go to his grave happy that his legacy of destroying "communism" in NYC has been preserved by all his "suckcessors". <_<

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Totally second the mention of the great James Brown album!

And also this one that I just played again whilst commuting to work:

monster1.jpg

Truly a monster!

Has it ever been reissued?

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While I would never recommend the Monk/Oliver Nelson album as being prime Oliver Nelson record, I do find it oddly compelling. It is like a weird time capsule of where jazz and pop culture were at that time (1968). It's like if Monk sat in with the Tonight Show band with Doc conducting. I just imagine Johnny Carson yelling "Yeah" at that end of every track.

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While I would never recommend the Monk/Oliver Nelson album as being prime Oliver Nelson record, I do find it oddly compelling. It is like a weird time capsule of where jazz and pop culture were at that time (1968). It's like if Monk sat in with the Tonight Show band with Doc conducting. I just imagine Johnny Carson yelling "Yeah" at that end of every track.

The whole idea of that is frightening to me. :crazy:

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One I've had for a long time and always enjoy - listening to it now - is

77863916_p.jpeg

Stolen moments - East Wind (also Inner City)

With Bobby Bryant, Jerome Richardson, Buddy Collette, Bobby Bryant Jr, Jack Nimitz, Mike Wofford, Chuck Domanico & Shelly Manne. March 1975.

Always enjoy this.

MG

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Further thoughts on Sound Pieces ... ? I guess, I don't know exactly why, I have a love/hate relationship with this record. At times, it seems so prescribed and constricted. And then, at other times, it feels cosmically right — as if there were absolutely no alternatives to what ultimately was put into the wax.

Fans of this record? Do you dig "Flute Salad"?

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Yes.

There are, generally, no easy "either/or"s with Oliver Nelson. Conflict, both internal & external, both in the music and in the business surrounding it, is more or less built in to all of it. This was not a guy who was hellbent on being one thing to one group, this was a guy who was determined to be one thing to a lot of different people, to get it in there somehow, somewhere, and to get paid well for doing it.

Worth quoting Amiri Baraka here, from Black Music,:about ..."Oliver Nelson's use of R&B and so-called "Mickey Mouse" music to beautiful effect" and that "some, like Oliver Nelson, occasionally, they have taken their talents and gone on over to Marlboro Country, where all dee big dough is"...

Now, if we as "jazz fans" get uncomfortable with the notion of an Oliver Nelson packing up and moving into Marlboro Country, we should also consider that such a move did not occur without the landscape of Marlboro Country going unchanged as a result, and that whatever one ultimately thinks about and hopes to see happen to Marlboro Country, it will likely always exist, and, really who was ultimately fucked with more by Oliver Nelson moving there, us or them?

I don't know that there's an easy answer to that one, either, so...yet again with the conflict. At the root, conflict, all kinds of conflict.

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I'm on board with Nelson much, much more than I am with Leroi Jones. I also understand the somehow, somewhere. (Jones could have benefitted from that terra firma.) Marlboro Country? Sure, why not — as in this album, not yet mentioned I don't think:

post-282-0-96770400-1392261440_thumb.jpg

With Cannon, Nelson's touch works. Works well.

I gave up my GRP edition of Sound Pieces many years ago. It's probably time to sleuth out the 2011 SHM-CD version right about now ...

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I'm actually a fan of the The Kennedy Dream album, a great calling card for the Hollywood studios; expansive, groovy and eerie in equal parts.

I don't understand the "Marlboro Country" comment, is Leroi saying ON has sold out to the man and now just making music for commercials?

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Fans of this record? Do you dig "Flute Salad"?

Yes, I like the way he mixes the flute voicings with (cup?) muted trombones. A tad formulaiic? - perhaps.... not dis-similar to some of theThad Jones arrangements for Count Basie though ('Speaking of Sounts' etc.)

I have the Nelson Mosaic currently 'up' for protracted listening in the car over the next week.

Edited by sidewinder

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Do you dig "Flute Salad"?

I dig "Fruit Salad"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-K0QBHMCwI

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I don't understand the "Marlboro Country" comment, is Leroi saying ON has sold out to the man and now just making music for commercials?

Not that so much as he went to where he could make some serious money doing what he did. "Infiltrating" more than "surrendering".

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I dig "Fruit Salad."

Good ol' Bourvil! I have him on a crazy French pop compilation. Need to dig that one out.

To note — I very much dig the track "Flute Salad." It is what it is, and it is that very well. (How's that for a Sangry-ism! :P )

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Yes, it is that, and with just a few tasty semi-subliminal extras added, like Ray Brown/Shelly Manne, this is the Way Out West rhythm section, keep in mind! Not that that will always matter, they were together a lot in a lot of places, but here, I think it's fair to hear that and consider. Also, tuba and french horns, a littler Thornhillian texture-ism, and hear the rich passing-but-hanging clouds-y dissonances they offer to serve. Just when the ear starts to hear the clashes, those chords move on to something a little more normal (but still "modern"). Once again, the inner voices are telling one story, the top voices another. Infiltration indeed.

It also strikes me that the flutes are not nearly as in tune for the unisons as they could have been, but that might have just been a time/budget issue. Or it might have been a conductor's choice, to not worry about that particular detail, for whatever reason (there would be many options there).

So yes, on the one hand, light, breezy, easy, and on the other hand, just a little more for the ear and/or mind than one would be led to believe by the overall nature of the piece.

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Has anyone else heard the Lorraine Ellison that Oliver Nelson arranged? The liner notes speak of mismatch between singer and production style, but I found it enjoyable. Shame it's not on Spotify and the three disc set that contains it on Rhino is OOP.

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Did not know of that one!

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Has anyone else heard the Lorraine Ellison that Oliver Nelson arranged? The liner notes speak of mismatch between singer and production style, but I found it enjoyable. Shame it's not on Spotify and the three disc set that contains it on Rhino is OOP.

The Japanese CD of the single album is $13.99 @ da' Bastids: http://www.dustygroove.com/item/683898

Also, Amazon has some used copies of that 3-CD set for under $30.00,

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nelson_oliv_soundpiec_101b.jpg

Whoa. I just finished listening to the entirety of UCCI 9222 — the 2011 Japanese SHM-CD edition of this record. I must say: this is one of the best CDs I have ever heard. So many things could go wrong — and didn't — with the mastering of this album. A big band — heck, an orchestra! A fairly close-miked soprano saxophone. Result? There are no ear-splitting peaks (highs), the dynamic range is huge (loud to very quiet), and Nelson's soprano is beautifully recorded, with much "air" around the horn. I experienced no noticeable ear fatigue, even at high volume. It was an absolute delight listening to this small plastic platter. This recording might also qualify as having the best recorded sound Ron Carter has ever received from a microphone. Who knew?!

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i take it it's not in mono (as the cover there notes).....?

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Has anyone else heard the Lorraine Ellison that Oliver Nelson arranged? The liner notes speak of mismatch between singer and production style, but I found it enjoyable. Shame it's not on Spotify and the three disc set that contains it on Rhino is OOP.

The Japanese CD of the single album is $13.99 @ da' Bastids: http://www.dustygroove.com/item/683898

Also, Amazon has some used copies of that 3-CD set for under $30.00,

Picked this up, and like Oliver's work well enough, some good moments, but did not feel Lorraine Ellison at all. Her voice hits my ears as an improbable combination of Morganna King (who I don't care for, to put it mildly) & Sylvester (who I do dig, but would not want to hear do these songs...probably).

What I would recommend looking for is an Irene Reid side on Verve called Room For One More. It's far from a perfect record, too many ill-conceived "pop" moments of various ilks, but about half of it is really, really strong "blues ballads", to which both Reid & Nelson respond to with the highest desirable degree of sympathy.

To compare the two singers, it sounds to me as if Ellison just has wobbly pitch, whereas Reid sounds as if she's got Jimmy Scott pitch (not unlike Nancy Wilson), and that's a world of difference afaic!

Presented for your approval:

The album's a little over half like that, so be ready for the other little less than half to be nowhere near that good.

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sylvester. now that's deep. what a reference. and a cross with morgana king...? sounds like canned whale meat (see appropriate thread).

Edited by etherbored

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i take it it's not in mono (as the cover there notes).....?

Correct. The Japanese disc is in (exquisite) stereo. (Album cover above for illustrative purposes only. :tophat: )

"Elegy for A Duck" — Ron Carter and Grady Tate are The Dang on that track. Really something else.

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Who is Sylvester? Stallone, Stone, Sonny Red ... or is that one of those cases where "believe me, you don't want to know"?

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Sylvester? A wholly unique talent, an incredible voice with an even more incredible falsetto, never really fully crossed over because of his...."flamboyance".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oigd_qs4rNY

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