Oliver Nelson (1932-75) was justly celebrated and well rewarded for his writing and arranging for orchestras, films, and television. Because his gifts in these areas abounded, Nelson's abilities on tenor saxophone tended to be overlooked. At home beside dauntless avant-gardist Eric Dolphy or R&B boss King Curtis, Nelson could wail and stomp with equally expressive power. The saxophonist's front-line partner here, longtime Basie-ite Joe Newman, is a sterling modern mainstreamer who is particularly adept with the mute in his horn, while the rhythm section, keyed by the perennially graceful Hank Jones, and spiced by Ray Barretto's congas, brings added luster to this sparkling affair.
with Hank Jones, George Duvivier, Charlie Persip, Ray Barretto