Oliver Nelson/Lou Donaldson – Back Talk (Full Album)

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This two-record set combines two seemingly unrelated sessions recorded for Cadet in the early ’60s. The earlier session features Oliver Nelson leading a large ensemble made of veterans like Phil Woods, Jerome Richardson, Grady Tate, and Snooky Young, while Patti Bown makes the best of a rather out-of-tune piano. Nelson contributed the arrangements and most of the songs, except for Billy Taylor’s “A Bientot,” which features the leader’s powerful tenor sax, and the somewhat gospel-flavored “Daylie’s Double,” written by Audrey Nelson, the leader’s spouse. Some of the tracks might have benefited from additional takes, as Nelson’s playing is occasionally a bit sloppy in places, especially on a remake of “Teenie’s Blues.” This disc was originally issued under the title Fantabulous. The second LP is by Lou Donaldson, originally issued separately as Rough House Blues, with arrangements by Nelson. Woods and Tate are also on this date (as is the little-known tenor saxophonist Robert Ashton), with organist Lloyd Mayers Jr., baritone saxophonist Danny Bank, and trumpeter Ernie Royal among the key players. Aside from a lively take of “Tippin’ In” and an imaginatively voiced treatment of “Days of Wine and Roses,” the leader wrote all of the songs for the date. The spirit of the church also comes through in “Back Talk,” where Donaldson’s alto sax seems to be preaching a sermon supported by the band as his choir. One drawback from this session is the rather muddy sound of Mayers’ organ. Later reissued by Green Line in Europe without the liner notes or personnel listings, this compilation is worth purchasing in spite of the rather insipid cover photo with a rear view of a nude African-American couple; one is tempted to ask why neither band is featured playing “Cheek to Cheek.” – Ken Dryden/AllMusic.

Track listing:
A1 –Oliver Nelson & His Orchestra Hobo Flats 4:12
A2 –Oliver Nelson & His Orchestra Post No Bills 5:28
A3 –Oliver Nelson & His Orchestra A Bientot 3:44
A4 –Oliver Nelson & His Orchestra Three Plus One 3:24
B1 –Oliver Nelson & His Orchestra Take Me With You 5:25
B2 –Oliver Nelson & His Orchestra Daylie’s Double 4:00
B3 –Oliver Nelson & His Orchestra Teenie’s Blues 4:05
B4 –Oliver Nelson & His Orchestra Laz-ie Kate 3:59

Rough House Blues
C1 –Lou Donaldson Tippin’ In 4:50
C2 –Lou Donaldson L.D. Blues 3:10
C3 –Lou Donaldson Days Of Wine & Roses 4:25
C4 –Lou Donaldson Ignant Oil 4:50
D1 –Lou Donaldson Rough House Blues 6:30
D2 –Lou Donaldson Back Talk 4:01
D3 –Lou Donaldson Huffin’ ‘N Puffin’ 5:30

Alto Saxophone – Lou Donaldson (tracks: C1 to D3), Phil Woods (tracks: C1 to D3)
Alto Saxophone, Clarinet – Phil Woods (tracks: A1 to B4)
Alto Saxophone, Flute – Kenny Soderblom* (tracks: A1 to B4)
Arranged By – Oliver Nelson
Baritone Saxophone – Danny Bank (tracks: C1 to D3)
Baritone Saxophone, Flute, Alto Flute – Jerome Richardson (tracks: A1 to B4)
Bass – Ben Tucker (tracks: A1 to B4), Richard Davis (2) (tracks: C1 to D3)
Bass Trombone – Tony Studd (tracks: A1 to B4)
Drums – Grady Tate
Organ – Lloyd Mayers, Jr. (tracks: C1 to D3)
Piano – Patti Bown (tracks: A1 to B4)
Tenor Saxophone – Oliver Nelson (tracks: A1 to B4), Robert Ashton (tracks: C1 to D3)
Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet – Robert Ashton (tracks: A1 to B4)
Trombone – Roy Wiegand (tracks: A1 to B4)
Trumpet – Art Hoyle (tracks: A1 to B4), Dave Burns (tracks: C1 to D3), Ernie Royal (tracks: C1 to D3), Eugene (Snooky) Young (tracks: A1 to B4)


Label: Chess ‎– 2ACMJ-404
Series: Chess Jazz Masters Series
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Compilation, Stereo, Gatefold
Country: US
Released: 1976
Recorded: March 19, 1964 & December, 1964