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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

Michael Cuscuna: In The Vault Playing God

Read "Michael Cuscuna: In The Vault Playing God" reviewed by AAJ Staff

From the 1995-2003 archive: This article first appeared at All About Jazz in December 2000. Michael Cuscuna is one of the most important figures in the jazz reissue field today. He has been responsible for hundreds of releases for many companies, and he was fortunate to meet and befriend Alfred Lion during the final ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Ran Blake / Christine Correa: When Soft Rains Fall

Read "When Soft Rains Fall" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Pianist Ran Blake and vocalist Christine Correa have recorded several duo albums together including two on the music of Abbey Lincoln. Here they turn to another iconic singer, Billie Holiday, concentrating on the contents of her final album, Lady In Satin (Columbia, 1958). Lady In Satin is known for its lush orchestral and choral ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Your Brain on Frets and More

Read "Your Brain on Frets and More" reviewed by Marc Cohn

Lots of guitar this week: John Scofield with Bill Frisell, Jim Hall, Pat Martino, Tiny Grimes, Kevin Eubanks with Dave Holland, Bill Jennings (an influence on B.B. King), and Paul Bollenback with Jim Snidero. We also have a couple of tracks from the currently unavailable Fred Hersch—Esperanza Spalding duo set live at the Village Vanguard (a ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Lucas Gillan's Many Blessings: Chit-Chatting with Herbie

Read "Chit-Chatting with Herbie" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

Questo nuovo omaggio a Herbie Nichols è stato pubblicato nel 2019, nel centenario della nascita del grande pianista. Protagonista è il batterista di Chicago Lucas Gillan, al suo secondo album col gruppo Many Blessings. Originario dell'Arizona, Gillan opera da alcuni anni nella Windy City e il suo pianoless quartet coniuga un'ampia serie di ...

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 ...


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