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EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Love, Gloom, Cash, Love

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Herbie Nichols' story has been told again and again, but it never seems to stick. An idiosyncratic pianist and one of the handful of important jazz composers, he was born in 1919 and dead from leukemia by age forty-four. His best- known song--"Lady Sings the Blues"--is associated with Billie Holiday and I would wager many listeners assume Billie wrote it. He appears as one of the four musicians profiled in A. B. Spellman's Four Lives in the Bebop Business in ...

MY BLUE NOTE OBSESSION

Herbie Nichols Trio – Blue Note 1519

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OK, now I'm cheating. At least it feels that way. The next CD on my quixotic Blue Note odyssey is Herbie Nichols Trio, a 1955-56 trio record by the criminally under-appreciated pianist. Great--I'm looking forward to it! I know almost nothing about Herbie Nichols, except that he was an overlooked talent who was often compared to the quirky Thelonious Monk. How can that be bad? Except... you can't really buy this CD. Not easily. And not ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Herbie Nichols: A Jazzist's Life

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Herbie Nichols: A Jazzist's Life Mark Miller Soft cover; 224 pages ISBN: 978-1-55128-146-0 The Mercury Press 2009

Although he is considerably better known and respected today than he was in his lifetime, pianist Herbie Nichols and his spectacularly original music remains relatively obscure. This is one of the conundrums of our time, for his music is infinitely more accessible than, say, the music of pianist Cecil Taylor. Therefore an event ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Herbie Nichols Project: Strange City

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Since 1992, the Herbie Nichols Project has been dedicated to performing the music of a gentleman who in his lifetime was sadly neglected but who left behind a body of work just as idiosyncratic and distinctive as that of Thelonious Monk. Following their two previous releases, Dr. Cyclop’s Dream and Love Is Proximity, the group now makes their debut on the Palmetto label with Strange City, a program made up almost exclusively by tunes that Nichols never recorded himself. Arguably, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Herbie Nichols Project: Strange City

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Since 1992, the Herbie Nichols Project has been dedicated to performing the music of a gentleman who in his lifetime was sadly neglected but who left behind a body of work just as idiosyncratic and distinctive as that of Thelonious Monk. Following their two previous releases, Dr. Cyclop’s Dream and Love Is Proximity, the group now makes their debut on the Palmetto label with Strange City, a program made up almost exclusively by tunes that Nichols never recorded himself. Arguably, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Herbie Nichols Project: Strange City

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Strange City marks this aggregation’s inaugural release for “Palmetto Records,” while also featuring trombonist, Wycliffe Gordon’s first recorded stint with a band, devoted to the music of the late pianist/composer Herbie Nichols. Comprised of members from the “Jazz Composers Collective,” the musicians have perhaps enlivened the artistry of Nichols via their two previous and well-received recordings for “Soul Note Records”; yet have also unearthed a good batch of the composer’s unrecorded work. Ultimately, this ensemble operates like a consortium of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Herbie Nichols Project: Strange City

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The Herbie Nichols Project releases its third recording of the one-time lost genius, Herbie Nichols. Co-led by bassist Ben Allison and pianist Frank Kimbrough, the HNP was created as part of the Jazz Composers Collective, a non-profit musician-run organization, to present original music. By choosing the work of Nichols, Allison and Kimbrough have re-ignited interest in a true genius of modern music.

Herbie Nichols, born in 1919 in New York of immigrant parent from St. Kitt and Trinidad, was a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Herbie Nichols Project: Dr. Cyclops' Dream

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As we celebrate new releases from the respective members of the “Jazz Composers Collective" (see AAJ Nov'99 reviews) along with Allen Huotari's insightful interviews with constituents of the Jazz Composers Collective, we commence the festivities with the new release by “The Herbie Nichols Project", titled Dr. Cyclops' Dream “.

Featuring charter members of the Jazz Composers Collective, the “Herbie Nichols Project" is an ever-evolving project devoted to interpreting and more importantly breathing new life into the poignant compositional legacy left ...


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