JSngry

Oliver Nelson on United Artists Jazz

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There's two, both from 1962, both produced by Alan Douglas. Impressions Of Phaedra & A Taste Of Honey, released under Lloyd Mayers' name.

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Neither are "great", but both are interesting for different reason. The Phaedra album is Nelson's first with Phil Woods, the beginning of a long and mutually beneficial relationship. Woods carpe diems pretty well here, sounding pretty free and loose in his ideas and harmonies. It also has writing that is at times (often, actually) of a decidedly "non-jazz" nature which at times (maybe not as often) speaks to Nelson's interest in modern classical composition (and, at other times, his interest in writing the times of "exotic" music that movie producers would want on their soundtrack...note that this is not an actual soundtrack record, it's "impressions" of a movie, another "industry audition" record, perhaps?). Probably not gonna be of a lot of interest for "jazz fans", but for people who are interested in composing/arranging for the "jazz band" idiom, this one is of interest. Note also that Woods is the only woodwind on the record.

The Mayers side is a simple, straightforward jazz organ with big band record, with radio-friendly-ish cut lengths. It might not have been an "industry audition" for the Jimmy Smith dates, but it is definitely a precursor. Mayers plays splendidly, and the arrangements are fine.

Pretty sure that both would fit on a single CD, pretty surprised that nobody's done it yet, especially our Anderrtican friends. Most(?) of Douglas' UA work has seen several iterations, these two, apparently, none (oh, woops, Mayers can be had as amazon MP3: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F4MH2A0/ref=dm_ws_sp_ps_dp.) Both are better - and deserve better - than that!

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That looks like Rita Tushingham's face on the cover of 'A Taste...'

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It is. Both this and Phaedra were UA-related films. Phaedra had an original soundtrack by Mikis Theodorakis that was also released on UA Records. Doesn't look as if A Taste Of Honey had an OST album released at the time.

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A track from each of these LP's  showed up on a compilation of material from Douglas's UA albums a couple years ago. And many years ago on the Tonight Show, Paul Schafer played the Nelson arrangement of "Honey" with the Carson house band -  he mentioned "the great Oliver Nelson," no mention of Mayer, even though his solo had a few of Mayer's licks from the album. 

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