“Black, Brown and Beautiful is the way I feel about my people, All of them.”
Oliver Nelson 20th November 1969
Originally released in 1970, “Black, Brown and Beautiful” saw legendary composer and arranger Oliver Nelson musically address the state of black America in the wake of the assassination of Martin Luther King. Tracks like Requiem, Lamb Of God and Martin Was A Man, A Real Man directly address the passing of King, whereas Self Help Is Needed and I Hope In Time A Change Will Come orchestrally and passionately ask questions that still remain unanswered today. Indeed, Nelson writing about the track Self Help Is Needed stated “I have always felt that the Federal Government wasn’t going to do a damn thing and American Blacks were going to have to do it themselves. However, you can’t have a foot on your neck making it impossible for you to help yourself. That seems logical – doesn’t it?” Sadly, those words still hold true today.
Musically, this is a sumptuous almost big band banquet with Nelson himself talking the soprano sax solo on the aching I Hope In Time A Change Will Come. Those who are fans of classic Nelson albums like The Blues And The Abstract Truth (1961) and the equally polemical The Mayor And The People (1971) will find much to enjoy here.
This reissue replicates the original high quality gatefold sleeve of the original and is pressed on 180gm vinyl.
“Black, Brown And Beautiful” has never been reissued on vinyl since the original 1970 US pressing. So, more than half a century after its release, Ace Records are delighted to offer it to jazz collectors and fans worldwide.