That saxophonist/composer/arranger Oliver Nelson was initially reluctant to undertake this "back to the roots" project is nowhere apparent in the realization of his suite. More American than Afro in nature, these seven vivid sketches draw from the rhythmic mother lode that is African and from the cream of the New York jazz-studio crop. Among the authoritative soloists are trumpeter Joe Newman, flutist Jerry Dodgion, pianist Patti Bown, bassist Art Davis, the percussion team of Ed Shaughnessy and Ray Barretto, and the leader, who is equally impassioned on alto or tenor saxophone. Nelson's reservations proved unfounded, as Afro/American Sketches remains a highlight of his distinguished career.
with Paul Faulise, Urbie Green, Britt Woodman, Melba Liston, Billy Byers, Ernie Royal, Joe Newman, Jerry Kail, Joe Wilder, Clyde Reasinger, Don Butterfield, Julius Watkins, Ray Alonge, Jim Buffington, Arthur "Babe" Clark, Bob Ashton, Eric Dixon, Jerry Dodgion, Patti Bown, Charles McCracken, Peter Makis, Art Davis, Ed Shaughnessy, Ray Barretto