|All Artists: Oliver Nelson, Eric Dolphy|
Title: Straight Ahead
Members Wishing: 4
Total Copies: 0
Label: Jvc Japan
Release Date: 1/24/2007
Album Type: Import
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
Andrew Stevenson | Union Springs, New York | 09/19/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"At first glance I didn't think this front line would work. Certainly Eric Dolphy's slashing frenetic style of playing would not work well with Oliver Nelson's more mainstream bluesy approach. But not only does it work, it works very well indeed thank you. At times it's fascinating to compare the two styles; at other times it's amazing how well they compliment each other. One is also reminded what an adventurous musician Nelson was. Another treat is hearing Dolphy on bass clarinet, an instrument not heard much in jazz. And while we're discussing treats.....a big treat here are Nelson's compositions especially the mysterious "Images" and the bluesy "Six and Four." Richard Wyands contributes some smooth piano work while bassist George Duvivier and drummer Roy Haynes hold everything together. Duvivier's presence is especially interesting to me. Somehow I think of him as being more of a mainstream player performing with the likes of Coleman Hawkins and Ben Webster. It just goes to show what a versatile player he was!"
You may as well get the Dolphy Prestige box =)
Pharoah S. Wail | Inner Space | 07/08/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'll start by saying that this is not the issue of Straight Ahead that I own. I have this as part of the Eric Dolphy Complete Prestige box-set that I reviewed here however many years ago, which was remastered more recently than this issue. So, my review is just on the performance and the quality of the album, not the sound.I love this album! It will always stand in the shadow of Blues & the Abstract Truth because unlike Abstract, this album isn't packed full of as many of the big names in jazz, but don't let that fool you. This is also a classic album. There are times here where Dolphy swings like a demented circus performer, and Nelson is (as usual), dripping with blues and soul. The tunes are great and the performances milk every last drop of loveliness out of them. This is one of those albums where I tend to think that no jazz collection could be considered complete without it."
A tragically underrated player, a rightly heralded composer
Isaac Laughlin | 07/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Oliver Nelson has always gotten what little respect seems to be available for jazz composers. However, his playing is often not mentioned and this is unfortunate. Listening to Mr. Nelson's solos is to get a glimpse into the process of composition. In Mr. Nelson's solos there is a level of logic and compositional thought occurring that is rare in jazz. Thinking of other players in whom this trait is evident, Sonny Rollins comes to mind. Oliver Nelson lacks the technical wizardry of Mr. Rollins, but in some ways that makes it even easier to hear his thought processes.
That being said, Mr. Nelson probably wouldn't make for a very interesting album on his own, but he more than makes up for it by playing alongside Eric Dolphy. The contrast in this case is delightful. Where Nelson restrains himself, Dolphy let's fly with his trademark flurries of notes and very vocal style.
The rest of the band is strong too, providing a very solid base for the soloists, and navigating their way through the superb compositions with aplomb. Roy Haynes' drum work is particularly noteworthy here. It's sad that this album is not better known, because it has all the elements of a classic, great composition, a strong appreciation for the blues and a diverse collection of brilliant soloists backed by an outstanding band."