Down Beat (p.74) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "Paul Chambers' bass moves with the dependable accuracy of a pendulum..."
JazzTimes (5/96, pp.74-75) - "You can afford only one Oliver Nelson album? This is the one. Why?....Because there are few perfect records. This is 36 1/2 minutes of perfection, an album as fresh as the day it was born 33 years ago. Long may it be reissued."
Personnel: Oliver Nelson (alto & tenor saxophones); Eric Dolphy (alto saxophone, flute); George Barrow (baritone saxophone); Freddie Hubbard (trumpet); Bill Evans (piano); Paul Chambers (bass); Roy Haynes (drums).
Recorded at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on February 23, 1961. Includes liner notes by Oliver Nelson.
The late Oliver Nelson had such a successful career as a composer of film and TV music ("Theme From the Six Million Dollar Man") and arranger that it often overshadowed his abilities as a jazz musician. In 1961, Nelson assembled a fantastic small ensemble, including Eric Dolphy, Bill Evans, and Freddie Hubbard, for a session of six original compositions. Nelson was also an excellent, bluesy-toned saxophonist (heard here on tenor and alto) and his tunes cover a variety of moods, from the elegiac "Stolen Moments" to the wryly humorous, Aaron Copeland-like "Hoe-Down" to the rippling "Cascades." Dolphy's edgy, vocally inspired alto sound, the surging brassy tone of Hubbard's trumpet, and the swinging lyricism of Bill Evans make a potent combination, contributing to BLUES's status as a classic of post-bop jazz.