As Oliver Nelson is known primarily as a big band leader and arranger, he is lesser known as a saxophonist and organiser of small ensembles. Released in 1961, The Blues And The Abstract Truth is his triumph as a musician for the aspects of not only defining the sound of an era with his all-time classic “Stolen Moments,” but on this recording, assembling one of the most potent modern jazz sextets ever. Lead trumpeter Freddie Hubbard is at his peak of performance, while alto saxophonists Nelson and Eric Dolphy (Nelson doubling on tenor) team to for an unlikely union that was simmered to perfection. Bill Evans (piano), Paul Chambers (bass) and Roy Haynes (drums) can do no wrong as a rhythm section. Nelson composed and arranged the tracks on the album, and did so in a fashion that just about summed up the essence of the hard bop sound that had been building momentum since the mid-1950s.