Combining the multi-reeds of Oliver Nelson and Eric Dolphy made Straight Ahead a highly diversified outing within a given area. In their previous effort, Screamin' the Blues (New Jazz 8243), Richard Williams was on trumpet but here there is no brass in the front line. Nelson's writing explores the alto sax/bass clarinet combination and the two-alto format. Dolphy also utilizes flute on "Mama Lou"; and Nelson employs his clarinet (in ensemble) and tenor sax (in solo) on "Ralph's New Blues" by Milt Jackson. As much of a contrast as there is between the horns, they also manage to complement each other, backed by a listening, expert rhythm section of Richard Wyands, George Duvivier, and Roy Haynes, in a rare blending of swing and imagination.