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Herbie Nichols

Herbie Nichols is a perennially neglected jazz pianist and composer. He recorded less than half of his 170 compositions on three classic trio albums for Blue Note and one for Bethlehem before dying of leukemia at the age of 43 in 1963. He is often compared to Thelonious Monk, and his piano playing and compositions certainly do have some of the harmonic angularity people associate with Monk. But he had a very distinctive sound of his own, more melancholy and, for lack of a better word, poetic than Monk in many ways. In fact, Nichols was something of a poet, as the titles to his tunes suggest

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Medeski, Martin and Wood: A Retro Phenomenon for the New Millenium

Read "Medeski, Martin and Wood: A Retro Phenomenon for the New Millenium" reviewed by Mike Brannon

From the 1995-2003 archive: This article first appeared at All About Jazz in April 1999. No, they're not a law firm, and though they're not yet a household word either, MMW is a trio of formidable sonic integrity and groove. 'Fronted' by Hammond B-3 organist John Medeski, the trio has been described as everything ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Simon Nabatov with Chris Speed, Herb Robertson, John Hébert, Tom Rainey: Plain

Read "Plain" reviewed by Mark Corroto

How fitting is the comparison between the music of Simon Nabatov and a Matryoshka doll? The Russian-born American's music is a nesting of not dolls but musical genres, placed one inside the other. Classically trained as a child, he can often be found in the free jazz wilds, moving easily between European and American brands of ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

A Herbie Nichols' Centennial - Part II

Read "A Herbie Nichols' Centennial - Part II" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

The second part of this week's tribute to Herbie Nichols focuses on the work of champions of his music like Roswell Rudd, Misha Mengelberg, Steve Lacy and, again, the Herbie Nichols Project with some never-heard-before live recordings from the vaults of the Jazz Composers Collective. For the first part of this Herbie Nichols special ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

A Herbie Nichols' Centennial - Part I

Read "A Herbie Nichols' Centennial - Part I" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

Herbie Nichols was a master of the piano which has inspired generations of musicians after his passing, despite the little commercial success that his albums obtained when first released. 2019 marks the centennial of his birth and to remedy the lack of retrospectives that his work should have, but hasn't received, this year, this ...

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

2019: The Year in Jazz

Read "2019: The Year in Jazz" reviewed by Ken Franckling

The year 2019 was robust in many ways. International Jazz Day brought its biggest stage to Australia. An important but long-shuttered jazz mecca was revived in a coast-to-coast move. ECM Records celebrated a golden year. The music and its makers figured prominently on the big screen. The National Endowment for the Arts welcomed four new NEA ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Instant Composers Pool al Teatro Garibaldi di Palermo. Organizzazione Curva Minore Contemporary Sounds 2019.

Read "Instant Composers Pool al Teatro Garibaldi di Palermo. Organizzazione Curva Minore Contemporary Sounds 2019." reviewed by Maurizio Zerbo

Instant Composers Pool Teatro Garibaldi Palermo 1/11/2019 Il tempo della memoria costituisce la chiave interpretativa di volta per valutare questo magnifico concerto dedicato a Misha Mengelberg, leader carismatico dell'Instant Composers Pool. Il commosso ricordo del geniale pianista, scomparso nel 2017, ha trasfigurato le consuete trame iconoclaste dell'ensemble olandese in pannelli swinganti ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Giancarlo Schiaffini, Errico De Fabritiis, Luca Tilli: Kammermusik

Read "Kammermusik" reviewed by Neri Pollastri

Cinquantuno minuti di musica suddivisi in tredici tracce, nove delle quali improvvisate, due di Misha Mengelberg, una di Herbie Nichols—cioè di due icone della musica di ricerca—e l'ultima, a mo' di omaggio iconoclasta, nientemeno che ”O' Sole Mio”: questo il menù apparecchiato da Giancarlo Schiaffini in trio con due musicisti non facilmente etichettabili come il sassofonista ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

West Coast Piano: Dave Brubeck, Hampton Hawes, Nat King Cole (1944 - 1959)

Read "West Coast Piano: Dave Brubeck, Hampton Hawes, Nat King Cole (1944 - 1959)" reviewed by Russell Perry

In the last hour, we heard from Thelonious Monk, Elmo Hope and Herbie Nichols--three closely associated New York pianists in the 1950s. In this hour, we'll return to the West Coast and another trio of pianists representing some of the widely divergent strains of jazz in the 1950s. Nat “King" Cole was famous first as a ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Monk and Friends: Thelonious Monk, Herbie Nichols, & Elmo Hope in the 1950s (1953 - 1957)

Read "Monk and Friends: Thelonious Monk, Herbie Nichols, & Elmo Hope in the 1950s (1953 - 1957)" reviewed by Russell Perry

The 1950s were a very productive decade for Thelonious Monk, perhaps his most productive as a composer. During the fifties his reputation and impact grew tremendously. His influence on other pianists can be seen in the work of Elmo Hope and Herbie Nichols, among others. Although neither had the longevity or enjoyed the popularity that Monk ...


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