10-28b: Oliver Nelson & Eric Dolphy Straight Ahead 1961 - Carlos Guastavino Las Puertas de la Mañana : Espaillat / Zinger 1994 - Porter Wagoner et al : Shit Happens!

1970 – Eduardo López-Chávarri (Spanish composer, writer & musicologist)
1971 – Yves de la Casinière (French pianist, organist, composer & teacher)
1975 – Oliver Nelson (American jazz composer, arranger, conductor & saxophonist)
1991 – Sylvia Fine Kaye (American popular songwriter & pianist, spouse of Danny Kaye)
1999 – Antonis Katinaris [Αντώνιος Κατινάρης] (Greek rebetiko songwriter & bazouki player of Turkish ancestry)
2000 – Carlos Guastavino (Argentine composer & pianist, "the Schubert of the Pampas" )
2001 – Gerard Hengeveld (Dutch pianist, composer & teacher)
2005 – Fernando Quejas (Cape Verdean morna singer, songwriter & guitarist, active in Portugal)
2006 – Marijohn Wilkin (American country & gospel songwriter & guitarist)
2007 – Jimmy (Dimitrios) Makulis [Τζίμης Μακούλης] (Greek popular singer)
2007 – Porter Wagoner (American country singer, guitarist & songwriter)

Well, you might be surprised that I was unable to locate very much in the way of supplemental reading about Porter Wagoner, either with or without his singing partner of many years, Dolly Parton. So, I put a couple videos up on our YouTube page to make up for it, and in particular the one of Porter & Dolly together is just super and delightful.

But I'm sure it will not surprise any of you that it's Oliver Nelson who really interests me today, given the regular attention I lavish on jazz musicians of the no-longer-with-us sort. Nelson died much too young and thus had a short career, but he lived long enough to record an album that's consistently on everyone's list of one of the all-time great jazz albums, Blues and the Abstract Truth from 1961, an all-star large-combo masterpiece featuring Nelson's wonderful compositions (most notably "Stolen Moments") and expert arrangements, and some mighty soloing from the assembled crowd of geniuses. Of course, if you have any jazz collection to speak of, Blues and the Abstract Truth is already a part of it, so why not dip into some of Nelson's other less-heard works for a change of pace?



  1. That Porter Wagoner photo is amazing. Notice the wagon wheels on his jacket. Porter WAGONER. I get it.

  2. Occupational surname. His ancestors made wagons. Occupational given name as well, come to think. He was meant to work at a seaport, or carry shit around... or maybe to make Portuguese fortified wine, and cart it around on a wagon? Anyway, would you believe he bought all his clothes off the rack? No, you wouldn't. They were custom-made, of course. By some guy named Taylor, I believe...

  3. No, I don't. Wagoner wore suits by two particular designers, Nudie & Manuel (Nudie Cohn, born Nuta Kotlyarenko in Kiev, and Manuel Cuevas, born Manuel Arturo José Cuevas Martínez in Michoacán). I'm led to believe that's a Nudie he's got on there in the pic.