CD Herbie Nichols, Vol. 1 (CD 761083),
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Herbie Nichols, Vol. 1

  • 1. It Didn't Happen
    2. Love, Gloom, Cash, Love
    3. Furthermore
    4. Lady Sings the Blues
    5. Crisp Day
    6. Every Cloud
    7. Dance Line
    8. Step Tempest
    9. Chit Chatting
    10. Shuffle Montgomery
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 351

  • Credits
    ProducerEric T. Johnson; Eric T. Johnson
    EngineerJim Parr

    Personnel: Eric T. Johnson (guitar); George Garzone (soprano & tenor saxophones); Phil Grenadier (trumpet); Bob Nieske (acoustic bass); Nat Mugavero (drums).
    Recorded at Parr Audio, Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts in 2000.
    Personnel: Eric T. Johnson (guitar); George Garzone (soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Phil Grenadier (trumpet); Bob Nieske (acoustic bass); Nat Mugavero (drums).
    Audio Mixer: Warren Amerman.
    Recording information: Parr Audio, Oak Bluffs, MA (2000).
    Photographer: Ralph Stewart.
    Arranger: Eric T. Johnson .
    Herbie Nichols' music was appreciated by a mere handful of musicians during his all-too-brief lifetime. Since recordings of Nichols' works have been sporadic, and all of his own interpretations feature only piano, bass, and drums, players must find their own way through each piece. Guitarist Eric T. Johnson is one of many who discovered the late pianist's challenging compositions after his Blue Note and Bethlehem sessions were reissued during the 1990s, but he chose to omit the piano in his transcriptions and arrangements of Nichols' works. With bassist Bob Nieske and drummer Nat Mugavero along for the entire ride, and also tenor saxophonist George Garzone and trumpeter Phil Grenadier each appearing on several tracks, Johnson fleshes out Nichols' original trio recordings while remaining true to the spirit of his legacy. Comparisons to Thelonious Monk are an understatement, as this music is often aggressive and full of enough sudden twists and turns to make a musician dizzy. The best of the quintet selections is the fiendishly difficult "It Didn't Happen," though none of the musicians were thrown in the least by its tricky changes. Nichols' well-known "Lady Sings the Blues," which was recorded by Billie Holiday, is included, but strangely missing is one of Nichols' other better known songs, "House Party Starting." But it's a safe bet that Johnson will get around to it for a future volume, because once anyone has been exposed to the late pianist's captivating compositions, he or she is invariably hooked for life. Highly recommended. ~ Ken Dryden

  • Critic Reviews
    JazzTimes (8/03, p.149) - "...Eric T. Johnson provides a solid tribute to the sorely neglected pianist-composer on HERBIE NICHOLS, VOL.1....[The album] should generate renewed interest in this fine artist's tunes and get more plaudits for Johnson as well..."
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