Jan 19, 2015
honor the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King on the anniversary of his
birth, here is the Official Straight No Chaser song of the holiday
- “Martin was a Man, a Real
Man” as recorded by Oliver Nelson in 1969. The band for the
recording included Nelson,
Pearl Kaufmann and Roger Kellaway (piano); Chuck Domanico (bass);
John Guerin and Roy Haynes (drums); Frank Stroizer and John Gross
(sax) and Bob Bryant (trumpet).
“Martin was a Man, a Real Man” was released on Nelson’s Black, Brown and Beautiful album in 1970 on the Flying Dutchman label. Considered to be one of Nelson’s hippest releases, the album continued Nelson’s move from blues-based jazz arrangements to cinematic, nearly stream-of-consciousness concept albums. With tracks with titles like “Lamb of God” and “I Hope in Time a Change Will Come”, and the sounds of sirens, rioting and unrest, the album comes across as a deeply felt response to Dr. King’s assassination. Even hipper – and more controversial – was the completely nude torso of a lovely black woman on the cover, coming close to a full frontal reveal.
For last year’s podcast tribute to Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, click here. For a 2008 podcast of tunes from Charlie Haden's Liberation Orchestra, Grant Green, Cecil Payne, Horace Silver, and the Blind Boys of Alabama, click here.