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Bill Cunliffe: The Blues and the Abstract Truth, Take 2

In the introduction to his book Weather Bird, Gary Giddins observes, “Interpretation, the lifeblood of classical music, is downgraded to imitation in jazz, beyond occasional attempts at orchestral repertory.” Bill Cunliffe dares to challenge this principle with an album that revisits, for purposes of interpretation, a consensus masterpiece: Oliver Nelson’s 1961 Impulse LP The Blues and the Abstract Truth.

Nelson’s recording contained six indelible compositions, each manifesting a different relationship to the blues, and spare, immaculate arrangements for septet. The album also contained some solos for the ages from Freddie Hubbard, Eric Dolphy and Bill Evans.

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