Yeah, "Open Sesame" crept on me as well. These days it's my favorite Hubbard (though "Red Clay" is up there too).
Those 2 Hutcherson albums are definitely my favorites of his and I listened to both since his recent death. I go back and forth between which I prefer. I generally think it's "Stick Up" (I personally love the Coleman cover), very consistent and great lineup. However, I like "Dialogue" (which I listened to just a few weeks ago) more than I used to, especially since I've become more of an Andrew Hill fan (it really should have been released under Hill's name). It's just so unique and atmospheric and is one of the few albums that reminds me of "Out To Lunch" (not just because of Hutcherson's presence). A grower for sure.
Only heard "Evolution" once but I liked it quite a bit, even if I haven't fully absorbed it yet. Cool atmosphere and I like the Monk tribute track.
I kind of agree about "Blues & The Abstract Truth" but Nelson was very unique as both a composer and an arranger and the album is the most successful example of this, which is what I think people often respond to when calling it an absolute classic.
Yeah "Volume 2" is definitely one of Sonny's best. Great sound and the best pairing of him and Monk (wish they'd worked together more).