In a musical career that has spanned seven decades, Quincy Jones has earned his reputation as a renaissance man of American music. Jones has distinguished himself as a bandleader, a solo artist, a sideman, a songwriter, a producer, an arranger, a film composer, and a record label executive, and outside of music, he's also written books, produced major motion pictures, and helped create television series. And a quick look at a few of the artists Jones has worked with suggests the remarkable diversity of his career – Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra, Count Basie, Lesley Gore, Michael Jackson, Peggy Lee, Ray Charles, Paul Simon, and Aretha Franklin.
By the time Oliver Nelson and his big band had recorded Fantabulous in March of 1964 for Argo, the great composer, saxophonist, conductor, and arranger was a man about town in New York. He had released some truly classic dates of his own as a leader in smaller group forms – Blues and the Abstract Truth and Full Nelson among them – and had done arrangement work for everyone from Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis and Johnny Hodges, Nancy Wilson, Frank Wess, King Curtis, Etta Jones, Jimmy Smith, Jack Teagarden, Betty Carter, Billy Taylor, and Gene Ammons, to name more than a few. For Fantabulous, he took his working big band to Chicago for a gig sponsored by Daddy-O-Daylie, a famous local disc jockey.
This Impulse two-fer revives a pair of LPs by arranger, composer, and saxophonist Oliver Nelson, Happenings and Soulful Brass, released in 1966 and 1968, respectively. Happenings, a date with pianist Hank Jones, is the better album, unlike Soulful Brass, which was co-led with comedian/pianist Steve Allen. Unfortunately, both pianists are featured mainly on harpsichord, which tends to dominate, and at times overwhelm, the compositions.
Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player) and the latest 24bit 192kHz remastering. A stunning early set as a leader from Elvin Jones – both a tremendous demonstration of the free energy he let loose after the passing of John Coltrane, and a set that's also still got some key Coltrane-esque elements! As with other Jones albums to follow, Elvin's got some key reedmen on hand – George Coleman on tenor, and Frank Foster on tenor, alto, and bass clarinet – both given plenty of room to run around with long solos on the open space of the record – yet without ever blowing off their heads as much as some of the younger players who'd work with Jones. There's no piano at all on the set – just the rock-slid bass of Wilbur Little, and additional congas from Candido next to Elvin's drums. The tracks have a haunting quality that mixes modal grooving with spare moments, and titles include "Simone", "5/4 Thing", "Shinjitu", and a nice version of "Yesterdays".
Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player) and the latest 24bit 192kHz remastering. A brilliant pairing of the Three Sounds trio with the larger arrangements of reedman Oliver Nelson – easily one of the most soulful bandleaders of the 60s, and a talent who really helps open up the trio's groove! The piano of Gene Harris is nice and sharp – played with a soulful sock on both sides of the keyboard – and soaring out over these full charts from Nelson that really sparkle with great touches from players like Plas Johnson on tenor, Lou Blackburn on trombone, Bobby Bryant on trumpet, and both Anthony Ortega and Frank Strozier on alto.