Through the years, I've had dozens of people ask me to recommend a few must-have jazz albums--kind of like a starter kit. I hit 'em with some classics--Miles Davis' Kind of Blue, Coltrane's Giant Steps (A Love Supreme is a little advanced for newbies)--but I've also found myself repeatedly suggesting a masterpiece by a lesser known artist: saxophonist/composer/arranger Oliver Nelson's the Blues and the Abstract Truth.
The 1961 recording, which remains widely available, features seven ace players performing a cool, highly melodic set of six Nelson originals, all gorgeously arranged for four horns and a rhythm section.
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