People on this list who known newer-style jazz probably know all about Oliver Nelson. For those who
don't, he was a heck of a composer/arranger in the late 50's through the 60's. He got into scoring
for TV and movies later in his career and died relatively young, likely worked himself to death. His
album "Blues and the Abstract Truth" is a favorite of both jazz fans and audiophiles. It's partially
modal in its sound, a nice complement to Miles Davis's "Kind of Blue," but with less laid-back
playing and more of a blues foundation. The followup album "More Blues and the Abstract Truth" was
not as well received, but I like it.
Anyway, two data points on Oliver Nelson. First of all, this excellent Mosaic box set collecting a
bunch of great 1960s jazz with Oliver's arranging and conducting involved, is listed as running low
Second, Oliver arranged and conducted an interesting album in the early 60's for a singer named Leo
Gooden. Leo owned an after-hours club in East St. Louis and is remembered as a tough guy. But he
could sing like a bird! He had his own label and self-released albums by himself and his house band.
The album "Leo Gooden Sings With Strings" is a departure from the soul-jazz he and his band usually
recorded. It was recorded at Fine Recording Bayside (the former Everest Records studio), engineered
by George Piros. I had no idea about this album until a couple of months ago when a fellow
ARSCLister tipped me off. I then tipped off Jazzwax's Marc Myers, and he wrote a post about it:
By the way, if anyone knows of any Leo Gooden heirs who might still have his master tapes, I'd be
interested in reissuing all of his recordings. I envision a 2-CD set, "The Two Sides of Leo Gooden,"
with one being the soul-jazz recordings and the other being the Leo Gooden Sings with Strings album.
Anyway, Oliver Nelson, a great arranger and composer. Underappreciated.
-- Tom Fine