302

Jimmy Bennington Trio: Another Friend: The Music of Herbie Nichols

Jakob Baekgaard By

Sign in to view read count
Jimmy Bennington Trio: Another Friend: The Music of Herbie Nichols
The music of pianist and composer Herbie Nichols (1919-1963) has experienced something a renaissance in recent years. This is, in no small part, due to the tireless work of trombonist Roswell Rudd, who has recorded his compositions and published the book Herbie Nichols: The Unpublished Works (2000), containing 27 of Nichols' compositions.

Thus, thanks to the work of Rudd, drummer Jimmy Bennington and his trio have been able to record a tribute album to Nichols: Another Friend: The Music of Herbie Nichols, consisting almost entirely of forgotten compositions by this neglected master. This also means that one won't find any of the tunes that Nichols recorded on the Blue Note and Bethlehem labels between May 1955 and November 1957, with the sole exception of "House Party Starting," which can be heard on the box set The Complete Studio Master Takes (Lonehill, 2005).

With the exception of "House Party Starting" there's no way to know how Nichols would have tackled the material himself. What's remains, of course, is an interpretation. Nevertheless, comparing the two versions of "House Party Starting" shows how the trio is both faithful towards Nichols while, at the same time, taking the music into new, dark corners.

While both Bennington and bassist Michael Bisio do a solid job, the spotlight naturally falls on pianist David Haney, who superbly interprets Nichols' idiosyncratic style. Haney brings out the Monkish knottiness of Nichols' playing while also paying wide attention to the pianist's patented use of poetic space. It's a very modern Nichols heard in Haney's version, but also, paradoxically, an old-fashioned stylist where titles like "Old 52nd St. Rag" and "Twelve Bars" speak very clearly of where the music came from.

The peculiar mixture of something very old and dusty and still freshly modern is repeated not only in the playing but also in the recording. The whole album was taped as a radio-session and, while there are no crackles and pops to disturb the listening experience, it's not a hi-fi recording; instead the album has the patina of an old 78.

Nostalgic yet modern, outdated and still way of ahead of his time. The paradox of Nichols' artistry continues to live and this fine homage is a fitting introduction to his singular musical world.

Track Listing

Old 52nd St. Rag; Another Friend; Ina; Prancin' Pretty Woman; Twelve Bars; House Party Starting.

Personnel

Jimmy Bennington: drums; Michael Bisio: bass; David Haney: piano.

Album information

Title: Another Friend: The Music of Herbie Nichols | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: ThatSwan! Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Mono No Aware
Roberto Pianca Sub Rosa
Live at NIR Studios
Georg Graewe, Kjell Nordeson, Jon Raskin Trio
Breathe
Dr. Lonnie Smith
Beau Bow de Lune
Val McCallum
Jesup Wagon
James Brandon Lewis
Songs For Tracy
Frank Macchia

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.