Oliver Nelson And His Orchestra ‎– The Kennedy Dream (Full Album)

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The Kennedy Dream is an album by American composer/arranger Oliver Nelson recorded in tribute to John F. Kennedy in 1967 for the Impulse! label.

AllMusic Review by Michael G. Nastos:
When the late President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, the world lost not only a prominent politician, but one who truly championed the arts and civil rights. In February of 1967, Oliver Nelson recognized Kennedy’s contributions and assembled a big band to play music in his honor, with taped segments of his speeches as preludes. The result is a heartfelt yet eerie combination, perhaps a bit off-putting, but absolutely relevant decades later. The music is reflective of the changing times as identified by Nelson, ranging from commercial movie score-type music, to soulful or straight-ahead jazz, bop, and the modern big-band sound that the leader, composer, and orchestrator owned. Kennedy’s most famous speech about fellow Americans, asking what they can do for their country, is folded into the last track “John Kennedy Memory Waltz” with a string quartet and the regret-tinged alto sax of Phil Woods. The 34th President’s oratorios on human rights act as prelude to the soft clarion horns, 7/8 beat, flutes, and vibes, giving way to the modal and serene passages of “Let the Word Go Forth,” or the cinematic, military, harpsichord-shaded, plucked-guitar-and-streaming-oboe-accented “The Rights of All,” which is also reflective of the immortal spiritual song “Wade in the Water.” Where “Tolerance” has a similar verbal tone, the mood is much more ethereal between the flutes, oboe, and strings, while the two-minute etude for the first lady and widow, “Jacqueline,” has a loping stride. “A Genuine Peace” is an anthem for all times in a soul-jazz mode that parallels Aaron Copland’s Americana moods, while “Day in Dallas” is the expectant, ominous, foreboding calm before the chaos. Nelson’s straight-ahead jazz exercise is “The Artists’ Rightful Place,” a spoken word tonic for musical troops in a bop framework that has the horn section jumping for joy. As always, Nelson surrounds himself with the very best musicians — Woods and Phil Bodner in the reed section, tuba player Don Butterfield, bassist George Duvivier, and pianist Hank Jones — and all produced by Bob Thiele (http://www.allmusic.com/album/musical-tribute-to-jfk-the-kennedy-dream-mw0000823641).

Track listing:
All compositions by Oliver Nelson except as indicated
“Let the Word Go Forth” – 6:16
“A Genuine Peace” – 2:37
“The Rights of All” – 3:57
“Tolerance” – 3:23
“The Artists’ Rightful Place” – 3:29
“Jacqueline” – 2:15
“Day in Dallas” – 3:40
“John Kennedy Memory Waltz” (George David Weiss) – 3:22
Recorded on February 16 (#3, 4, 7) and February 17, 1967 (#1, 2, 5, 6, 8).

Personnel:
Oliver Nelson – tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, arranger, conductor
Phil Woods – alto saxophone
Snooky Young – trumpet
Jerry Dodgion, Jerome Richardson – reeds
Don Butterfield – tuba
Phil Bodner – English horn
Danny Bank – bass clarinet
Hank Jones – piano, clavinet
George Duvivier – bass
Grady Tate – drums
John F. Kennedy – voice
Unidentified strings

Released: Mid May 1967
Recorded: February 16-17, 1967
Capitol Studios, New York City
Length: 28:59
Label: Impulse!
AS-9144
Producer: Bob Thiele

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