Oliver Nelson


OLIVER NELSON: COMPOSITIONS

111-44: Named for a previous address of Oliver Nelson's and included on the 1961 Oliver Nelson/Eric Dolphy album STRAIGHT AHEAD (New Jazz), featuring Eric Dolphy on bass clarinet and Oliver Nelson on alto sax.

African Sunset: A very Nelson-like basic blues that is one of the three Oliver Nelson compositions inspired by the composer's 1969 U.S. State Department-sponsored tour of North Africa that was included on Count Basie and Oliver Nelson's 1970 album AFRIQUE (Flying Dutchman), featuring a very Basie-like solo passage with Count Basie's bluesy piano solo overtop Freddie Green's guitar rhythms. 

Afrique: One of three Oliver Nelson compositions inspired by the composer's 1969 U.S. State Department-sponsored tour of North Africa that was included on Count Basie and Oliver Nelson's 1970 album AFRIQUE (Flying Dutchman). The unusually percussive piece uses the Basie band merely for the charts while Hubert Laws solos on flute and percussionists Warren Smith, Richard Pablo Landrum and Sonny Morgan are strongly featured.

Alto-itis: Written for the alto saxes of Eric Dolphy and Oliver Nelson and included on the 1960 album SCREAMIN' THE BLUES (New Jazz).

All You Did Was Smile: Co-written with Hal David and sung by Bobby Hatfield (of the Righteous Brothers) from Oliver Nelson's 1970 soundtrack album ZIGZAG (MGM).

Anacruses: A lively modal construction included on the three tenors summit SOUL BATTLE (Prestige/1960) featuring Oliver Nelson, King Curtis and Jimmy Forrest with Roy Haynes on drums.

The Artist's Rightful Place aka Patterns For Orchestra: A complex orchestral work originally known as "Patterns For Orchestra" and recorded in 1966 as a feature for J.J. Johnson on trombone and Grady Tate on drums. The recording was intended for the 1968 album LEONARD FEATHER PRESENTS THE SOUND OF FEELING AND THE SOUND OF OLIVER NELSON (Verve), but the Oliver Nelson song "12 Tone Blues" was used in its place and mistakenly titled as "Patterns For Orchestra." The correctly titled recording was first issued on the 1995 compilation CD OLIVER NELSON: VERVE JAZZ MASTERS 48 (Verve). In 1967, Nelson recycled the piece to accent a 1963 speech by President John F. Kennedy on the arts. Titled "The Artist's Rightful Place," is included on Oliver Nelson's 1967 album THE KENNEDY DREAM: A MUSICAL TRIBUTE TO JOHN FITZGERALD KENNEDY (Impulse), a  feature for alto sax (probably Phil Woods) and drums (probably Grady Tate).

Back Woods: Written for and dedicated to Phil Woods, a featured participant in most of Oliver Nelson's groups between 1962 and 1967, and more or less Nelson's stand-in as a player during this time. Included on the 1963 album FULL NELSON (Verve), featuring Woods on alto sax (and, possibly, clarinet too).

Baja Bossa: Originally written as the predominant theme to the SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN episode, "The Peeping Blonde", which first aired December 20, 1974, and used in subsequent episodes as a romantic cue, this song was recorded as an enchanting bossa nova by Nelson on his 1975 album, SKULL SESSION, with solos by Nelson on alto sax and Mike Wofford on electric piano.

Ballad For Benny: Commissioned - but not recorded - by Benny Goodman for the clarinetist's historic 1962 tour of Russia. Nelson indicates that Goodman wasn't entirely happy about the Duke Ellington sound of the piece. Included on Oliver Nelson's 1963 album FULL NELSON (Verve), featuring Phil Woods on clarinet.

A Black Suite For String Quartet And Jazz Orchestra: A beautiful seven-movement suite featuring (unnecessary) narration by then Cleveland, Ohio, Mayor Carl B. Stokes. Commissioned and recorded by Bob Thiele's Flying Dutchman Records and included on the second side of the 1970 album THE MAYOR AND HIS PEOPLE - CARL STOKES (side one is a Carl Stokes press conference). Musicians participating in the suite aren't listed, but one of the more prominent soloists is probably Hubert Laws on flute.

Blues And The Abstract Truth: An intricate, almost scholarly, swinger written not for Oliver Nelson's 1961 album of the same name but rather for the wholly underrated 1964 album MORE BLUES AND THE ABSTRACT TRUTH (Impulse), featuring Roger Kellaway on piano, Phil Woods (notably, not Oliver Nelson) on alto sax and Pepper Adams on baritone sax. Nelson also arranged a somewhat more clunky but still absorbing version of this challenging piece (spotlighting Bobby Rosengarden's prominent bongos) for organist Jimmy Smith's 1966 album HOOCHIE COOCHIE MAN (Verve) and featured a rather more sped-up version of the tune on his own 1971 album SWISS SUITE (Flying Dutchman).

Blues At The Five Spot: Included on the three tenors summit SOUL BATTLE (Prestige/1960) featuring Oliver Nelson, King Curtis and Jimmy Forrest with Gene Casey on piano.

Blues For Elek: Noting that the 1973 Elek Bacsik album I LOVE YOU (Bob Thiele Music) was without any blues, Oliver Nelson (who contributes alto sax to one other piece from this album) composed this blues "in two minutes" as a call and response between Nelson's alto sax and Bacsik's guitar. Also features Hank Jones on piano.

Blues For M.F.: Written for jazz announcer Mort Fega and Included on the three tenors summit SOUL BATTLE (Prestige/1960) featuring Oliver Nelson, King Curtis and Jimmy Forrest with George Duvivier on bass.

Bob's Blues: A blues piece for quintet dedicated to trumpeter Bob(by) Bryant and included on the 1960 album NOCTURNE (Moodsville), featuring Oliver Nelson on tenor sax, Lem Winchester on vibes and Richard Wyands on piano.

Booze Blues Baby: Quintet piece included on the 1959 album MEET OLIVER NELSON (New Jazz), featuring Oliver Nelson on tenor sax, Ray Bryant on piano and Kenny Dorham on trumpet.

Bopol: A big band chart very much in the spirit of Count Basie's music, written for the 1967 Pee Wee Russell/Oliver Nelson album THE SPIRIT OF '67 (Impulse) featuring Pee Wee Russell on clarinet, Jimmy Nottingham on trumpet and Patti Bown on piano. The title is constructed from the "Bo" in producer Bob Thiele's name, the "p" in soloist Pee Wee Russell's name and the "ol" in writer/arranger Oliver Nelson's name.

Butch And Butch: Dedicated to Oliver Nelson's oldest sister and her husband, the piece is included on the 1961 album THE BLUES AND THE ABSTRACT TRUTH (Impulse) and features Roy Haynes on drums, Oliver Nelson on tenor sax, Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Eric Dolphy on alto sax and Bill Evans on piano.

Cascades: A saxophone exercise composed while Oliver Nelson was in school. The piece is included on the 1961 album THE BLUES AND THE ABSTRACT TRUTH (Impulse) and features Oliver Nelson playing the melody on tenor sax with solos by Freddie Hubbard (who, Nelson says, "sounds to me like John Coltrane playing a trumpet") and Bill Evans on piano.

Capture Of The Wolf: The most Prokofiev-like pieces of the original tunes Oliver Nelson contributed to Jimmy Smith's 1966 album PETER AND THE WOLF (Verve).

Cat In A Tree: One of the original pieces Oliver Nelson contributed to Jimmy Smith's 1966 album PETER AND THE WOLF (Verve), which (because of Billy Butler's guitar figures) sounds as if it could have fit comfortably on an episode of the BATMAN TV show.

The Creeper: Written for Jimmy Smith's 1965 album MONSTER (Verve), also features Ray Beckenstein on soprano sax.

(The) Critic's Choice: A go-go style piece written for Oliver Nelson's 1964 album MORE BLUES AND THE ABSTRACT TRUTH (Impulse) as a feature for Danny Moore on trumpet, Phil Woods on alto sax and Roger Kellaway on piano. Nelson also arranged the piece for Buddy Rich's big band, which was featured on the drummer's 1966 album SWINGIN' NEW BIG BAND (featuring John Bunch on piano and Jay Corre on tenor sax) and again for a smaller ensemble for organist Henry Cain's 1967 album THE FUNKY ORGAN-IZATION OF HENRY CAIN (Capitol).

Day In Dallas: A dirge-like orchestral work commemorating the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy, included on Oliver Nelson's 1967 album THE KENNEDY DREAM: A MUSICAL TRIBUTE TO JOHN FITZGERALD KENNEDY (Impulse).

Dirge: Probably derived from Oliver Nelson's 1961 concert work, "Dirge For Chamber Orchestra," this piece is the only Oliver Nelson composition included on the 1962 album IMPRESSIONS OF PHAEDRA (United Artists).

Disillusioned: The sixth part of the seven-part suite, AFRO-AMERICAN SKETCHES (Prestige/1961), featuring Charles McCracken on cello and Oliver Nelson on tenor sax.

Don't Stand Up: Quintet piece included on the 1959 album MEET OLIVER NELSON (New Jazz), featuring Ray Bryant on piano, Kenny Dorham on trumpet and Oliver Nelson on tenor sax.

Duck Theme: One of the original pieces Oliver Nelson contributed to Jimmy Smith's 1966 album PETER AND THE WOLF (Verve).

Dumpy Mama: In his notes to SKULL SESSION, Nat Hentoff says of Nelson's original only that it is "electronically-laced funk". In this case, additional commentary is probably not necessary. Like Nelson's other attempts in this vein around this time - "Disc-O-Mite", "The Evil Dude" and "Mama Love" - "Dumpy Mama" is little more than a comically-charged riff on a rather skimpy funk theme probably adapted from the SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN. Nelson recorded it on his 1975 album, SKULL SESSION, and arranged it for Groove Holmes's album, SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN, around the same time. Bob Thiele, producer of these two versions, probably also suggested it for his production of Sonny Stitt's 1975 Flying Dutchman album of the same name. Keyboardist Mike Wofford is featured on all three versions of the song and Shelly Manne plays on both the Nelson and Stitt versions.

Early Morning: A blues for quintet dedicated to Lem Winchester and included on the 1960 album NOCTURNE (Moodsville), featuring Richard Wyands on piano, Oliver Nelson on tenor sax and Lem Winchester on vibes.

Earphones: From Oliver Nelson's 1970 soundtrack album ZIGZAG (MGM).

Eddy's Dilemma: A blues for sextet written and arranged by Oliver Nelson for the 1960 Lem Winchester album LEM'S BEAT (New Jazz), featuring Oliver Nelson on tenor sax, Lem Winchester on vibes, Curtis Peagler on alto sax and Billy Brown on piano.

Elegy For A Duck: A haunting and memorable piece composed for organist Jimmy Smith's 1966 album PETER AND THE WOLF (Verve). In this arrangement, the melody is beautifully scored for an orchestra led by flutes and offset with a lovely horn counterpoint. Oliver Nelson recorded the piece shortly thereafter in a quartet (small group) setting for his own album SOUND PIECES (Impulse), stating the melody (and solo) on soprano sax and featuring Steve Kuhn on piano (plus solo), Ron Carter on bass and Grady Tate on drums.

Emancipation Blues: The third part of the seven-part suite, AFRO-AMERICAN SKETCHES (Prestige/1961), featuring Joe Newman on trumpet, Patti Bown on piano and Oliver Nelson on alto sax.

End Title: From Oliver Nelson's 1970 soundtrack album ZIGZAG (MGM).

The Evil Dude: Cop show funk arranged by Oliver Nelson for Bob Thiele's 1975 album I SAW PINETOP SPIT BLOOD (Flying Dutchman), featuring (probably) Oscar Brashear on trumpet and Tom Scott on soprano sax.

Example 78 (aka Refractions): A quartet piece which emerged from one of the exercises Oliver Nelson included in his book PATTERNS FOR SAXOPHONE (later re-titled PATTERNS FOR IMPROVISATION), first included on the Oliver Nelson compilation THREE DIMENSIONS (Impulse), but recorded during the sessions which produced the 1966 album SOUND PIECES (Impulse) and featured on the 1991 Amercian CD of that name. A feature for Oliver Nelson on soprano sax (plus solo), Steve Kuhn on piano (plus solo), Ron Carter on bass and Grady Tate on drums. Nelson also arranged this piece for horns and strings, with Jimmy Smith as the soloist for the organist's 1968 album LIVIN' IT UP (Verve), guided admirably by the superbly perfect Ray Brown on bass.

Flute Salad: A melodic piece scored for alto flutes and orchestra written for the 1966 Oliver Nelson album SOUND PIECES (Impulse), featuring Conte Candoli on muted trumpet.

Freedom Dance: Dedicated to "the thousands of militant youths, Freedom Riders (of all races) and all people with the desire and maturity to be free," this is the final part of the seven-part suite, AFRO-AMERICAN SKETCHES (Prestige/1961), featuring Oliver Nelson on tenor sax. Also arranged by Oliver Nelson for organist Shirley Scott's 1963 album FOR MEMBERS ONLY (Impulse).

Fugue Tune: One of the most brilliant ways Nelson wed his classical training to his jazz-based instincts, without ever descending into the often boring third-stream hieroglyphics he didn't buy into. Like his 1973 concert work, "Fugue And Bossa," which like this piece is also based on a Bach fugue, Nelson introduces his own tonalities to a genuinely moving work of jazz, strongly utilizing Clark Terry's trumpet, (probably) Phil Wood's clarinet, a series of flutes, Hank Jones's harpsichord and a variety of other instrumentalists, ably guided by George Duvivier on bass and, of course, Grady Tate on drums. A truly monumental piece of Oliver Nelson's compositional strength, recorded for Hank Jones and Oliver Nelson's 1966 album HAPPENINGS (Impulse).

Funky But Blues: A Basie-inspired orchestral blues piece included on Hank Jones and Oliver Nelson's 1966 album HAPPENINGS (Impulse), featuring Hank Jones on piano.

Happenings: An excellent jazz waltz written for jazz orchestra and featured on Hank Jones and Oliver Nelson's 1966 album HAPPENINGS (Impulse), featuring Hank Jones on harpsichord and Clark Terry on trumpet.

Heidi: The third piece in the spectacular four-part "Impressions of Berlin" suite Oliver Nelson wrote and recorded in 1971 as part of the BERLIN DIALOGUE FOR ORCHESTRA album, "Heidi" is a ballad as impassioned and moving as it is impressionistic and fervent. Launched from a beautiful line voiced by Nelson's own alto sax, the drama and intesity in Nelson's performance is something to behold. Ron Simmonds, one of the trumpeters in the orchestra playing the long chordal whole tones that build in intesity behind Nelson, said that "Heidi" "brought tears to my eyes. Oliver was playing an alto solo which is definitely only for listeners with strong nerves. It was love–at–first–sight, courtship, passion—all pouring out from the heart. 'Good grief,' I said damply to him afterwards, 'How can you play like that?' 'It’s all right for you,' he replied, 'but what’s my wife going to say when she hears that?'" While the rest of the suite - and the album, for that matter - affirms Nelson's magisterial compositional skill, "Heidi" testifies remarkably to the deeply moving signature sound Oliver Nelson generated from deep within his soul and commandingly emitted through his saxophone. Surprisingly, Nelson never again recorded the lovely "Heidi," which he said was "dedicated to all the beautiful girls in Berlin who bear that name," nor has this song received any of the jazz coverage it richly deserves.

A Genuine Peace: An orchestral work accenting comments President John F. Kennedy made during a 1963 speech on peace, included on Oliver Nelson's 1967 album THE KENNEDY DREAM: A MUSICAL TRIBUTE TO JOHN FITZGERALD KENNEDY (Impulse).

Going Up North: The fifth part of the seven-part suite, AFRO-AMERICAN SKETCHES (Prestige/1961), featuring Joe Newman on trumpet and Oliver Nelson on tenor sax. Also arranged by Oliver Nelson for Lloyd G. Mayers's 1962 organ-with-orchestra album A TASTE OF HONEY (United Artists).

Groove: Quintet piece included on the 1960 album TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS (New Jazz), featuring Oliver Nelson on tenor sax, Johnny Hammond Smith on organ and Lem Winchester on vibes. Oliver Nelson also arranged the song for big band for the 1964 Maynard Ferguson album COME BLOW YOUR HORN (Cameo).

Guilty, Your Honor: From Oliver Nelson's 1970 soundtrack album ZIGZAG (MGM).

Guitar Blues: A blues written for guitarist Mel Brown, a "discovery of Bob Thiele," who solos on the  piece on Oliver Nelson's 1967 album LIVE FROM LOS ANGELES (Impulse).

Happenings: An excellent jazz waltz written for jazz orchestra and featured on Hank Jones and Oliver Nelson's 1966 album HAPPENINGS (Impulse), featuring Hank Jones on harpsichord and Clark Terry on trumpet.

Ho!: Sextet piece included on the 1961 album MAIN STEM (Prestige), featuring Oliver Nelson's "favorite piano player" Hank Jones on piano, Joe Newman on trumpet and Oliver Nelson on tenor sax.

Hobo Flats: Written for Jimmy Smith's 1963 album HOBO FLATS (Verve) and later arranged by the composer for Mel Brown's 1967 album CHICKEN FAT (Impulse) and Count Basie's 1970 album AFRIQUE (Flying Dutchman). Oliver Nelson also included the song on his 1964 album FANTABULOUS (Argo), featuring Patti Bown on piano and Oliver Nelson on tenor sax. Lyrics were also added to the song and arranged by Oliver Nelson for Joe Williams's 1964 album ME AND THE BLUES (RCA). (Note: Singer Damita Jo recorded a version of "Hobo Flats" in 1963 (Mercury 72121 [45]), which is listed as being arranged, produced and co-written by Quincy Jones. It is unknown whether Oliver Nelson had any participation in this recording).

Hoe-Down or Hoe Down: Included on the 1961 album THE BLUES AND THE ABSTRACT TRUTH (Impulse), featuring Freddie Hubbard, Eric Dolphy, Oliver Nelson and Roy Haynes and scored for large ensemble (and slightly faster) on the 1963 album FULL NELSON (Verve), featuring Clark Terry and Jimmy Raney. Oliver Nelson also arranged the piece as a large-scale work (similar to the FULL NELSON arrangement) for organist Shirley Scott on the 1964 album GREAT SCOTT!! (Impulse) and drummer Buddy Rich on the 1967 album SWINGIN' NEW BIG BAND (Pacific Jazz), featuring Rich's decidedly choppier rhythm, Jim Trimble on trombone and John Bunch on piano.

I Call Your Name: Co-written with Hal David and sung by Bobby Hatfield (of the Righteous Brothers) from Oliver Nelson's 1970 soundtrack album ZIGZAG (MGM).

I Saw Pinetop Spit Blood: An after-hours New Orleans style lament named for a headline that appeared in Down Beat magazine, arranged by Oliver Nelson for Bob Thiele's 1975 album I SAW PINETOP SPIT BLOOD (Flying Dutchman), featuring Bobby Bryant on trumpet and Bob Brookmeyer on trombone.

Images: Included on the 1961 Oliver Nelson/Eric Dolphy album STRAIGHT AHEAD (New Jazz), featuring Eric Dolphy on bass clarinet and Oliver Nelson on alto sax.

In A Japanese Garden: Originally conceived for a Japanese album led in 1974 by four drummers and produced by Oliver Nelson, THE DRUM SESSION (the 1979 American version of the album did not include the song), "In A Japanese Garden" was covered by the composer himself on his 1975 album, SKULL SESSION.

In Passing: A call and response theme included on the three tenors summit SOUL BATTLE (Prestige/1960) featuring Oliver Nelson, King Curtis and Jimmy Forres.

In Time: Quintet piece included on the 1960 album TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS (New Jazz), featuring Oliver Nelson on tenor sax and Johnny Hammond Smith on organ.

It Was You, It Was You: From Oliver Nelson's 1970 soundtrack album ZIGZAG (MGM).

J & B: A blues for sextet "dedicated to a dead soldier from across the sea" and included on the 1961 album MAIN STEM (Prestige), featuring Oliver Nelson on alto sax, Joe Newman on trumpet and Hank Jones on piano.

Jacqueline: An orchestral waltz for strings accenting comments President John F. Kennedy made about his wife on the day of his assassination and included on Oliver Nelson's 1967 album THE KENNEDY DREAM: A MUSICAL TRIBUTE TO JOHN FITZGERALD KENNEDY (Impulse).

Jams And Jellies: Quintet piece included on the 1959 album MEET OLIVER NELSON (New Jazz), featuring Oliver Nelson on tenor sax, Ray Bryant on piano and Kenny Dorham on trumpet.

Jazz Bug: A construction of two themes that, like "Six And Four," alternates between 6/4 and 4/4 time, this was the only Oliver Nelson composition featured on the 1966 album OLIVER NELSON PLAYS MICHELLE (Impulse). The first theme is original to this composition, while the second theme (over which either Oliver Nelson or Phil Woods solos on alto sax) is developed from the 6/4 section of "Complex City" (1966), commissioned by CBS-TV for a television special focusing on three New York composers.

Jimmy And The Duck: One of the original pieces Oliver Nelson contributed to Jimmy Smith's 1966 album PETER AND THE WOLF (Verve).

Jungleaire: A brass-oriented dance piece alternating in four time signatures, this is the second part of the seven-part suite, AFRO-AMERICAN SKETCHES (Prestige/1961), featuring Oliver Nelson on tenor sax and Ed Shaughnessy and Ray Barretto on percussion.

Kilimanjaro: One of three Oliver Nelson compositions inspired by the composer's 1969 U.S. State Department-sponsored tour of North Africa that was included on Count Basie and Oliver Nelson's 1970 album AFRIQUE (Flying Dutchman), featuring Hubert Laws on flute, Count Basie on piano.

The Lady From Girl Talk: Theme written for an ABC-TV talk show hosted by Virginia Graham (1963-1969), included on Oliver Nelson's 1966 album SOUND PIECES (Impulse), featuring Mike Melvoin on piano and Oliver Nelson on soprano sax.

Latino: Sextet piece written with Ray Barreto in mind and included on the 1961 album MAIN STEM (Prestige), featuring Ray Barretto on conga, Joe Newman on trumpet, Oliver Nelson on alto sax and Hank Jones on piano.

Laz-ie Kate: An Ellington-ian blues alternating a flute choir with other horns. Included on the 1964 album FANTABULOUS (Argo), featuring Oliver Nelson on tenor sax.

Lem & Aide: Sextet piece written and arranged by Oliver Nelson for the 1960 Lem Winchester album LEM'S BEAT (New Jazz), featuring Curtis Peagler on alto sax, Lem Winchester on vibes and Oliver Nelson on tenor sax.

Let The Word Go Forth: An orchestral work that accents the most famous passage of President John F. Kennedy's 1961 inaugural address, included on Oliver Nelson's 1967 album THE KENNEDY DREAM: A MUSICAL TRIBUTE TO JOHN FITZGERALD KENNEDY (Impulse).

Lou's Good Dues or Lou's Good Dues Blues: A tribute to Louis Bellson, this is a quintet piece included on the 1960 album TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS (New Jazz), featuring Oliver Nelson on alto sax, Johnny Hammond Smith on organ and Lem Winchester on vibes. Oliver Nelson also arranged the song for big band and included it on the 1966 Hank Jones & Oliver Nelson album HAPPENINGS (Impulse), featuring Clark Terry on trumpet and Hank Jones on harpsichord.

Love Theme (Bossa): From Oliver Nelson's 1970 soundtrack album ZIGZAG (MGM).

Majorca: A Bolero-like Latinate concoction derived from a concert work written by Oliver Nelson in 1955 titled "Cubana." Included on the 1963 album FULL NELSON (Verve), featuring Stan Webb on oboe and Romeo Penque on flute.

Main Title From "Zigzag": Main theme from Oliver Nelson's 1970 soundtrack album ZIGZAG (MGM).

Mama Lou: A theme in two parts named for Oliver Nelson's older sister and included on the 1961 Oliver Nelson/Eric Dolphy album STRAIGHT AHEAD (New Jazz), featuring Eric Dolphy on alto sax and flute and Oliver Nelson on alto sax.

Mama Love: Cop show exotica (driven much like "Skull Session" by Mike Wofford's arp synthesizer) arranged by Oliver Nelson for Bob Thiele's 1975 album I SAW PINETOP SPIT BLOOD (Flying Dutchman), featuring Mike Wofford on electric piano, Tom Scott on tenor sax, (probably) Lee Ritenour on guitar and Jimmy Gordon and Willie Bobo on percussion.

Meal Time: One of the original pieces Oliver Nelson contributed to Jimmy Smith's 1966 album PETER AND THE WOLF (Verve).

Message: Considered by Oliver Nelson to be "a conversation between drummers," this is the first part of the seven-part suite, AFRO-AMERICAN SKETCHES (Prestige/1961), featuring Jerry Dodgion on flute, Art Davis on bass and Ed Shaughnessy and Ray Barretto on drums.

The Meetin': A nod toward the gospel-jazz made popular by Bobby Timmons and others at the time, included on the 1960 album SCREAMIN' THE BLUES (New Jazz) featuring Richard Williams on trumpet, Eric Dolphy on alto sax, Richard Wyands on piano and Oliver Nelson on tenor sax. This piece can also be heard on a live Eric Dolphy album (without Oliver Nelson) recorded several years later.

Miss Fine: Named after and dedicated to Oliver Nelson's sister, Leontine LaCoste, the subject of dedication in "Teenie's Blues." Recorded by Oliver Nelson on the 1963 album FULL NELSON (Verve), featuring trumpet solos by Joe Newman and Clark Terry, and on the 1967 album LIVE FROM LOS ANGELES (Impulse), featuring Freddy Hill on trumpet. Oliver Nelson also arranged the piece (using different horn voicings and more of a waltz-like rhythm set by the bassist) for pianist Billy Taylor on the 1964 album MIDNIGHT PIANO (Capitol).

More Soul: Co-written in 1963 with King Curtis (Curtis Ousley) and issued as the flip side to King Curtis's 1964 hit 45 record, "Soul Serenade" (Capitol). Oliver Nelson also arranged the piece for Buddy Rich's 1966 album SWINGIN' NEW BIG BAND (Pacific Jazz), featuring Jay Corre on tenor sax and Barry Zweig on guitar.

Nocturne: A form of "mood music" which "owes a debt to Bartok" and is titled after the 'night music' sections of his compositions. Included on the 1960 album NOCTURNE (Moodsville).

One For Bob: An excellent small group piece written for and dedicated to producer Bob Thiele, one of Oliver Nelson's greatest advocates. This piece, which certainly deserves a wider hearing, was performed on Nelson's 1964 album MORE BLUES AND THE ABSTRACT TRUTH (Impulse), the first of Nelson's many Thiele productions on the Impulse and Flying Dutchman labels (despite several earlier sessions under Manny Albam and Shirley Scott's names) and was a feature for Roger Kellaway on piano, Pepper Adams on baritone sax and, of course, Phil Woods (whose playing guides the melody) on alto sax.

One For Phil: A ballad written for and featuring alto saxophonist Phil Woods, first featured on the 1965 Impulse compilation THE DEFINITIVE JAZZ SCENE VOLUME THREE, but recorded during the 1964 sessions for the Oliver Nelson album MORE BLUES AND THE ABSTRACT TRUTH (Impulse) and issued on the 1997 American CD of that name.

Ostinato: Quintet piece included on the 1959 album MEET OLIVER NELSON (New Jazz), featuring Kenny Dorham on trumpet, Ray Bryant on piano and Oliver Nelson on tenor sax.

The Other Car: From Oliver Nelson's 1970 soundtrack album ZIGZAG (MGM).

Parade: One of the original pieces Oliver Nelson contributed to Jimmy Smith's 1966 album PETER AND THE WOLF (Verve), which (because of Billy Butler's guitar figures) sounds as if it could have fit comfortably on any episode of the BATMAN TV show.

Patterns: A quartet piece which emerged from one of the exercises Oliver Nelson included in his book PATTERNS FOR SAXOPHONE (later re-titled PATTERNS FOR IMPROVISATION), included on Oliver Nelson's 1966 album SOUND PIECES (Impulse), featuring Oliver Nelson on soprano sax (plus solo), Steve Kuhn on piano (plus solo), Ron Carter on bass and Grady Tate on drums.

Patterns For Orchestra aka The Artist's Rightful Place: A complex orchestral work originally known as "Patterns For Orchestra" and recorded in 1966 as a feature for J.J. Johnson on trombone and Grady Tate on drums. The recording was intended for the 1968 album LEONARD FEATHER PRESENTS THE SOUND OF FEELING AND THE SOUND OF OLIVER NELSON (Verve), but the Oliver Nelson song "12 Tone Blues" was used in its place and mistakenly titled as "Patterns For Orchestra." The correctly titled recording was first issued on the 1995 compilation CD OLIVER NELSON: VERVE JAZZ MASTERS 48 (Verve). In 1967, Nelson recycled the piece to accent a 1963 speech by President John F. Kennedy on the arts. Titled "The Artist's Rightful Place," is included on Oliver Nelson's 1967 album THE KENNEDY DREAM: A MUSICAL TRIBUTE TO JOHN FITZGERALD KENNEDY (Impulse), a  feature for alto sax (probably Phil Woods) and drums (probably Grady Tate).

Peter Plays Some Blues: One of the original pieces Oliver Nelson contributed to Jimmy Smith's 1966 album PETER AND THE WOLF (Verve).

Peter's Theme: One of the original pieces Oliver Nelson contributed to Jimmy Smith's 1966 album PETER AND THE WOLF (Verve).

Post No Bills: Included on the 1964 album FANTABULOUS (Argo), featuring Patti Bown on piano, Jerome Richardson on flute and Oliver Nelson on tenor sax.

Refractions: (aka Example 78): A quartet piece which emerged from one of the exercises Oliver Nelson included in his book PATTERNS FOR SAXOPHONE (later re-titled PATTERNS FOR IMPROVISATION), first included on the Oliver Nelson compilation THREE DIMENSIONS (Impulse), but recorded during the sessions which produced the 1966 album SOUND PIECES (Impulse) and featured on the 1991 Amercian CD of that name. A feature for Oliver Nelson on soprano sax (plus solo), Steve Kuhn on piano (plus solo), Ron Carter on bass and Grady Tate on drums. Nelson also arranged this piece for horns and strings, with Jimmy Smith as the soloist for the organist's 1968 album LIVIN' IT UP (Verve), guided admirably by the superbly perfect Ray Brown on bass.

The Rights Of All: An excellent orchestral jazz work accenting comments President John F. Kennedy during a 1963 speech on human rights, included on Oliver Nelson's 1967 album THE KENNEDY DREAM: A MUSICAL TRIBUTE TO JOHN FITZGERALD KENNEDY (Impulse).

Screamin' The Blues: A twelve-bar blues included on the 1960 album SCREAMIN' THE BLUES (New Jazz) featuring Oliver Nelson on tenor sax, Richard Wyands on piano, Richard Williams on trumpet and Eric Dolphy on bass clarinet.

Shufflin': Written specifically for bassist George Duvivier and included on the 1962 Oliver Nelson-arranged album by Frank Wess titled SOUTHERN COMFORT.

Six And Four: A spirited piece named for the shifts between 6/4 and 4/4 time and included on the 1961 Oliver Nelson/Eric Dolphy album STRAIGHT AHEAD (New Jazz), featuring Eric Dolphy and Oliver Nelson on alto sax and scored for big band on the 1967 Pee Wee Russell/Oliver Nelson album THE SPIRIT OF '67 (Impulse) featuring Pee Wee Russell on clarinet.

Sound Piece For Jazz Orchestra: A brilliant, sprawling, complex and wonderfully exciting orchestral composition written in 1963 for the Stuttgart Radio jazz orchestra in Germany and performed by Oliver Nelson, soloing on soprano sax, on his 1966 album SOUND PIECES (Impulse). Verve logs indicate that Oliver Nelson also recorded an unissued version of this piece with Jimmy Smith for the organist's 1966 album HOOCHIE COOCHIE MAN (Verve).

Southern Comfort: An excellent and unusually percussion-heavy blues written for the 1962 Oliver Nelson-arranged album by Frank Wess titled SOUTHERN COMFORT, featuring Frank Wess on tenor sax, Albert Aarons on trumpet, Tommy Flanagan on piano, Osie Johnson on drums and Ray Barretto on congas. Oliver Nelson also arranged an equally percussive, but (thanks to the rythm established by Art Davis on bass and Mundell Lowe on guitar) rather more Basie-like version of the piece for organist Shirley Scott's 1963 album FOR MEMBERS ONLY (Impulse).

Step Right Up: A well-known signature composition by Oliver Nelson written for his first collaboration with organist Jimmy Smith, BASHIN' (Verve/1962). This popular piece, as arranged by the composer, features a very Basie-like solo section (courtesy of guitarist Barry Galbraith) that serves as a nice feature for the organist. Nelson also arranged the piece for drummer Buddy Rich, which is taken a bit faster than the original (and does away with the Basie references), that is included on the 1995 CD issue of the 1966 recording of SWINGIN' NEW BIG BAND (Pacific Jazz), and features John Bunch on piano, Jim Trimble on trombone and Gene Quill on alto sax. The best known version of this composition is, perhaps, the lead piece from Count Basie's 1970 Nelson-arranged album AFRIQUE (Flying Dutchman), featuring a great rhythm section with pitch-perfect Count Basie on piano (who also solos), Freddie Green on guitar and Norman Keenan on bass plus solos from (probably) Waymon Reed on trumpet and, surprisingly, Oliver Nelson on tenor sax.

Stolen Moments (aka The Stolen Moment): Perhaps the best known piece written by Oliver Nelson and certainly one of the all-time great jazz standards, "Stolen Moments" made its first appearance as "The Stolen Moment" on the 1960 Oliver Nelson-arranged album by tenor saxophonist Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis titled TRANE WHISTLE (also featuring Bob Bryant on trumpet and Eric Dolphy on bass clarinet). Most memorably, though, the song became the cornerstone of Oliver Nelson's landmark 1961 album THE BLUES AND THE ABSTRACT TRUTH (Impulse) and features gorgeous once-in-a-lifetime solos from Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Eric Dolphy on flute, Oliver Nelson on alto sax and Bill Evans on piano. The composer would record the song on only two other occasions, once in 1971 on the live album SWISS SUITE (Flying Dutchman), featuring Danny Moore on trumpet and Oliver Nelson on alto sax, and again in 1975 on his final studio recording, STOLEN MOMENTS (East Wind), featuring Bobby Bryant (again) on trumpet and Oliver Nelson on alto sax. Oliver Nelson also provided arrangements of the piece for pianist Billy Taylor's 1963 album RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW (Capitol), trombonist J.J. Johnson's 1964 album THE DYNAMIC SOUND OF J.J. WITH BIG BAND (RCA) and flautist Paul Horn's 1970 album PAUL HORN AND THE CONCERT ENSEMBLE (Ovation).

Straight Ahead: Included on the 1961 Oliver Nelson/Eric Dolphy album STRAIGHT AHEAD (New Jazz), featuring Eric Dolphy and Oliver Nelson on alto sax.

Take Me With You (Willie Jean Tate/Oliver Nelson): Included on the 1964 album FANTABULOUS (Argo), featuring Oliver Nelson on tenor sax.

Teenie's Blues: Like "Miss Fine," dedicated to Oliver Nelson's sister, Leontine LaCoste. Included on the 1961 album THE BLUES AND THE ABSTRACT TRUTH (Impulse), featuring Eric Dolphy and Oliver Nelson on alto sax, Bill Evans on piano and Paul Chambers on bass and scored for large ensemble on the 1964 album FANTABULOUS (Argo), featuring Patti Bown on piano and Oliver Nelson on tenor sax.

There's A Yearnin': Not to be confused with the blues composition, "Yearnin" (included on THE BLUES AND THE ABSTRACT TRUTH), the composer indicates the full title of this piece should read "There's A Yearnin' Deep Inside Me." This is the fourth part of the seven-part suite, AFRO-AMERICAN SKETCHES (Prestige/1961), featuring Oliver Nelson on alto sax and Jerry Dodgion on flute (soloing over top of Pete Makis on pizzicato cello).

Three Plus One: Included on the 1964 album FANTABULOUS (Argo), featuring Art Hoyle on trumpet and Phil Woods on alto sax.

Three Seconds: A brilliant minor blues scored for three horns playing in second intervals. Presented as a sextet piece on the 1960 album SCREAMIN' THE BLUES (New Jazz) featuring Eric Dolphy on alto sax, Richard Williams on muted trumpet, Oliver Nelson on tenor sax and Richard Wyands on piano and as a nonet (?) performance on the 1975 album STOLEN MOMENTS (East Wind), featuring Mike Wofford on piano, Bobby Bryant on trumpet and Oliver Nelson on alto sax.

Tipsy: Written for Benny Bailey (featured on his 1960 Candid album BIG BRASS) and included in a sextet performance on the 1961 album MAIN STEM (Prestige), featuring Hank Jones on piano, Joe Newman on muted trumpet, Oliver Nelson on tenor sax and George Duvivier on bass.

Today: More or less an improvisation based on a riff with elegant horn charts, credited to both Nelson and Herbie Mann for the flautist's 1966 album TODAY (Atlantic). It's pretty clear who is responsible for what here.

Tolerance: An orchestral work accenting comments John F. Kennedy made during a 1960 speech on religious tolerance, included on Oliver Nelson's 1967 album THE KENNEDY DREAM: A MUSICAL TRIBUTE TO JOHN FITZGERALD KENNEDY (Impulse).

Top Stuff: A septet piece recorded in early 1975 and probably intended for Bob Thiele's album I SAW PINETOP SPIT BLOOD (Flying Dutchman) that was first issued on the posthumous compilation album A DREAM DEFERRED (Flying Dutchman), featuring Bob Brookmeyer on trombone, Oscar Brashear on trumpet, Mike Wofford on electric piano and Tom Scott on soprano sax.

Trane Whistle: A tribute to John Coltrane, this is a quintet piece included on the 1959 album TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS (New Jazz), featuring Oliver Nelson on tenor sax, Lem Winchester on vibes and Johnny Hammond Smith on organ. Oliver Nelson also arranged a veresion for a larger group on Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis's 1960 album titled TRANE WHISTLE, featuring Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis on tenor sax and Oliver Nelson on alto sax.

Variation Of Themes: From Oliver Nelson's 1970 soundtrack album ZIGZAG (MGM).

Walk Away: A straight blues that mostly likely served as the blueprint for the better-known "Yearnin"  (from the 1961 album THE BLUES AND THE ABSTRACT TRUTH), this piece was written for the 1960 Oliver Nelson-arranged album by tenor saxophonist Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis titled TRANE WHISTLE, featuring Richard Williams and Clark Terry on trumpet and Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis on tenor sax.

Whole Nelson: Written for the 1960 Oliver Nelson-arranged album by tenor saxophonist Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis titled TRANE WHISTLE, featuring (probably) Clark Terry on trumpet and Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis on tenor sax.

Yearnin': Not to be confused with the ballad "There's A Yearnin" (from AFRO-AMERICAN SKETCHES), this popular and well-covered blues - which "employs a kind of 'amen' cadence" - was first heard on the 1961 album THE BLUES AND THE ABSTRACT TRUTH and features Eric Dolphy on alto sax, Freddie Hubbard on trumpet and Bill Evans on piano. The composer recorded the song again in 1975 on his final studio recording, STOLEN MOMENTS (East Wind), featuring Bobby Bryant on trumpet, Oliver Nelson on alto sax and Mike Wofford on piano. Nelson also contributed arrangements of this piece to the 1969 Nobou Hara & His Sharps & Flats album 3-2-1-0 (Nippon Columbia) and the 1970 Johnny Hodges album 3 SHADES OF BLUE (Flying Dutchman).

You Love But Once: Included on the 1963 album FULL NELSON (Verve), probably featuring Oliver Nelson on alto sax.

Your Last Chance: Sextet piece written and arranged by Oliver Nelson for the 1960 Lem Winchester album LEM'S BEAT (New Jazz), featuring Lem Winchester on vibes, Curtis Peagler on alto sax, Billy Brown on piano and Oliver Nelson on tenor sax.

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