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Oliver Nelson Jr.

Instrument: Flute AMT Products Used: WS

“This wireless microphone system is truly amazing. The sound is great. It really brings our the best sound quality of my flute and piccolo. Even my group commented how wonderful the sound was, and that they could hear me above the rhythm section. This system is essential for any jazz flutist.” – Oliver Nelson Jr.

Oliver Nelson began playing piano at age six and picked up the saxophone when he was eleven. Later he continued his musical education at Washington University in St. Louis, as well as by studying with composer Elliott Carter. Nelson gained practical experience by playing in bands with Erskine Hawkins, Louie Bellson, Quincy Jones and Duke Ellington. In the late fifties he began recording with his own ensemble and earned attention as a promising jazz artist with the release of LPs like “The Blues and the Abstract Truth” (1961). It might be difficult to compile a complete list of the films and TV shows Nelson contributed to, since it’s common for arrangers and orchestrators to work without credit in Hollywood. One of his better known efforts is the score for “Alfie” (1966) where he collaborated with sax man Sonny Rollins. Nelson’s arrangements provide a bouyant, swinging backdrop for Rollin’s assured playing. But he is also sensitive to the film’s quieter moments. The breadth of Nelson’s ability as an arranger/orchestrator is demonstrated by his contribution to “Last Tango in Paris” (1972). In his work with Gato Barbieri on this film, Nelson moves from the melancholy ruminations of the opening cue to the brittle elegance of the tango to the driving sound of a large ensemble. The score for “Zigzag” (1970) is an example of Nelson’s work as a composer. In this soundtrack he creates tension by combining dense harmonies and aggressive percussion. It has been suggested that Nelson’s hectic schedule, which included work as composer, arranger, performer and teacher, may have helped to bring about his early death. He suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of forty three.