Music for your speakers: Oliver Nelson – The Blues and the Abstract Truth

This 1961 recording is one of my all-time favourite jazz albums and the opening track, ‘Stolen Moments’, is one of my favourite tracks.

The Blues and the Abstract Truth was an early release on the new Impulse! record label, which was launched in 1960. All of the recordings on this label are distinctive in the house colours of orange, black and white, including the spines of the gatefold sleeves, as well as the centres of the LPs themselves. Like Blue Note, the photography on the front covers is iconic.

music ‘Stolen Moments’ gets played a lot in our shop. It has a beautiful melody and the recording is natural. Once you hear the tune you will never forget it. It is described by Oliver Nelson as “a 16-bar composition, derived from blues in C minor”. As the track opens you can hear the horn section playing the melody together, supported by the rhythm section. Then Freddie Hubbard plays his solo on trumpet, followed by Eric Dolphy on flute, Then Oliver Nelson takes his turn to solo on tenor saxophone and finally Bill Evans solos on piano before the piece ends.

It is a testament to the musical quality of this album that it is still in print after more than fifty years. In fact apart from being available in standard editions of LP and CD, its audiophile credentials are shown by its current availability as a double 45 rpm 180grm LP, SACD and hi-res download.

Paul Janove, Grahams Hi-Fi, London

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