Re-release date : October 9th 2007
Recorded at Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, April February 23rd, 1961
Original release date: 1961
"Stolen Moments", the opening track, is a modal masterpiece that stands comparison with anything on "Kind Of Blue". The band (Oliver Nelson (alto and tenor saxophone), Freddie Hubbard (trumpet), Eric Dolphy (alto saxophone and flute), George Barrow (baritone sax), Bill Evans (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), Roy Haynes (drums)) is exceptional. Oliver Nelson's writing and arrangement is at its most direct, basing the composition on a 16 bar C minor blues form. The openness and space created allows great solos from Freddie Hubbard, Eric Dolphy (flute), Oliver Nelson and Bill Evans to flow on top of a seemingly timeless backdrop. There is nothing quite as good as this on the rest of the album but the remaining tracks are very good by any normal standard.
There are challenging solos by Eric Dolphy on alto sax that contrast perfectly with the laid back full ensemble backing – first on "Yearnin'" (a standard blues in C) and then on "Teenie's Blues" (a more complex blues on which Oliver Nelson also joins on alto). "Cascades" (an uptempo workout using a modified version of the structure of George Gershwin's "I Got Rhythm") allows great interplay between Freddie Hubbard and Bill Evans while "Butch and Butch" and the less successful "Hoe Down" allow solo opportunities for all. George Barrow on baritone gets a special mention in Oliver Nelson's liner notes for his fine supporting lines, giving the whole a rich, filled out sound.
A welcome re-release of a great album.
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