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Black, Brown and Beautiful

Oliver Nelson

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June 4, 1932 - October 28, 1975


Oliver Nelson directs and performs with the "Berlin Dream Band" in Berlin, Germany in 1970.

Born into a musical family, St. Louis native Oliver Nelson started out playing piano when he was six before his later transition to saxophone.

After playing in territory bands around Saint Louis beginning in 1947 he worked briefly as the alto saxophone and arranger for the Louis Jordan band in 1950 and '51.

Nelson moved to New York, where he found steady work as the house arranger for the Apollo Theater and performed with Erskine Hawkins and Wild Bill Davis.

Following his release of six albums as a leader, Nelson's breakthrough came with 1961's "The Blues and the Abstract Truth" featuring the tune "Stolen Moments" which is now considered a standard.

Oliver Nelson later moved to Los Angles, and help Gato Barbieri arrange music for the 1972 film “Last Tango in Paris.”


Oliver Nelson, alto sax
Milo Pavlovic, trumpet
Ron Simmonds, trumpet
Carmel Jones, trumpet
Manfred Stoppacher, trumpet
Harry Samp, trumpet
Ake Persson, trombone
Barry Ross, trombone
Slide Hampton, trombone
Jean Orieux, trombone
Kurt Masnick, trombone
Leo Wright, sax
Klaus Marmulla, sax
Rolf Roemer, sax
Adi Feurstein, sax
Freddy Lhost, sax
Jan Konopasek, sax
Kai Rautenberg, piano
Hajo Lange, bass
Heinz Niemeyer, drums
Dai Bowen, drums

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