Once again I thoroughly enjoyed myself putting together a new edition of OFOB for you and others of the big eared ilk. Because of another report I had to make up, this week you get tune lengths posted after each tune listing + continuing to put the start times for each piece to help you navigate through the show via the KUSP Music Show Player at the right.
Simon Nabatov’s new Leo release covering Herbie Nichols songs [he says he uses them as a jump off point rather than do literal covers] was the primary inspiration this week, and the show had both more worthy music by Simon + we got led into some other great music including a hot new release by the Vijay Iyer trio.
Great compositions allow performers to make new great music out of the framework provided by the composer. Monk’s music is like this. Herbie Nichols’ music is, as well. Check out how the pieces change when different musicians approach them… yet much of the original spirit is maintained.
Some more notes below. Once again, this show is available through next Tuesday when a new show will be loaded via the KUSP website. I hope you have/had a chance to give it a listen!
Keep those ears growing!
P.S. here’s a web address for a video of Simon playing some more Herbie Nichols: http://www.plushmusic.tv/channels/AP6/simon-nabatov-plays-herbie-nichols.html
Larry Blood – Host of Out Front, Outback
Presenting jazz and extensions as a living art form, with tradition a byword for music moving into the future. A KUSP-FM featured program serving California’s Central Coast since 1983, airing Tuesdays from 9:30pm to midnight PST.
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OFOB for 3/13/12:
- [top 0:00] The Herbie Nichols Project- Wildflower 2- Love is Proximity- Soul Note [3:26] Though in the context of a group date, this piece is Frank Kimbrough on solo piano.
- [break 5:16] The Herbie Nichols Project- IDH- Dr. Cyclops’ Dream- Soul Note [2:07] Here you get more of the group… They did 3 recordings, all great, reinterpreting Herbie Nichols’ music. The one not played in this show is titled Strange City on Palmetto. More info at Frank’s website here: http://home.earthlink.net/~fkimbrough/HNPpage.html
- [7:17] Herbie Nichols- Spinning Song- The Complete Blue Note Recordings- Blue Note [4:56] Here are a couple samples of Herbie, himself, from the blue not box set.
- [12:10] Herbie Nichols- Blue Chopsticks- The Complete Blue Note Recordings- Blue Note [4:24]
- [break 18:35] Simon Nabatov- Blue Chopsticks- Spinning Songs of Herbie Nichols- Leo Recordings [6:06]
- [24:35] Misha Mengelberg/Steve Lacy/George Lewis/Harjen Gorter/Han Bennink- Spinning Song- Change of Season: Music of Herbie Nichols- Soul Note [7:11] Two other worthy Soul Note release are Dutch Masters [Ernst Reijseger cello replaces Harjen Gorter bass for a set of tunes by Misha, Steve + 1 Monk number] and Regeneration [Roswell Rudd on trombone, Kent Carter bass for all 3 Monk + 3 Herbie Nichols comps]. Note there are other great covers of Herbie Nichols by Misha Mengelberg’s ICP orchestra, Steve Lacy, etc. As always, there are plenty of paths to follow in creative music!
- [break 35:00] Simon Nabatov- Spinning Song- Spinning Songs of Herbie Nichols- Leo Recordings [13:08]
- [48:10] Simon Nabatov- No Doubt- Round Up- Leo Recordings [5:15] This is a wonderful date, and I’m gonna let the music speak for itself.
- [53:19] Simon Nabatov- Sunrise, Twice- Round Up- Leo Recordings [7:46]
- [break 63:46] Simon Nabatov- Now What- Round Up- Leo Recordings [4:45]
- [68:31] Szilard Mezei Octet- Sitting Bull- Tonk (stump)- SLAM Productions [8:37] Diverging out from Simon Nabatov’s music, I dug how this segue worked.
- [tiny break 76:53] Szilard Mezei Wind Quartet- The Impossible Variatins of Solutions- Innen (from here)- Ayler Records [9:22] What, you don’t know Szilard? You gotta check him out… the man on viola from Hungary! Trio, quartet on up to larger groups, all some pretty special stuff!
- [break 91:40] Darius Jones Trio- Roosevelt- Mannish Boy- Aum Fidelity [1:14] a quick nod to one of my more recent fave alto players lead us into one of the creative masters.
- [92:52] Julius Hemphill- Dogon A.D.- Dogon A.D.- Mbari [14:43] a classic! this has been reissued on CD, though not the easiest thing to find. Julius on alto sax w/the classic tonal pairing of Abdul Wadud on cello + Baikida Carrol on trumpet + Phillip Wilson on drums.
- [107:41] Henry Threadgill- Too Much Sugar- Too Much Sugar for a Dime- Axiom [2:58] My original intention had been to play LPSD, but Too Much Sugar dropped in so nicely after Dogon A.D…..
- [110:38 miscue 110:54] Vijay Iyer Trio- Little Pocket Size Demons- Accelerando- ACT Music [7:14] Of course the original of this piece is on Henry Threadgill’s Too Much Sugar for a Dime. At some point I’m sure we’ll hear the two pieces next to each other, but for now, just dig how Vijay & co. wail on this Threadgill hit! This is Vijay Iyer’s newest trio release after the acclaimed Historicity… this one should also get rave reviews.
- [121:26] Paul Plimley Trio- M Tracks (part 1)- Density of the Lovestruck Demons- Music & Arts [5:23] Paul is one of those great players who everybody should know about, but only the cognicenti seem to be hip to him. Recorded during his residency in the SF bay area w/fellow vancouverite Lisle Ellis on bass + Donald Robinson on drums.
- [126:47] Simon Nabatov Octet- The Start of a Very Nice Summer’s Day- A Few Incidences- Leo Records [7:49] A strange but wonderous date with vocals + the great Frank Gratkowski on sax.
- [134:30] Zu (and Spaceways Inc.)- Pharmakon- Radiale- Atavistic [4:26] I put “and Spaceways Inc.” in parentheses because this number on the release features Zu features this great Italian thrash jazz trio plus Ken Vandermark added in on reeds. Half of the release adds more “Spaceways Inc.” players Hamid Drake + others.
- [138:54] Vijay Iyer- Galang- Historicity- ACT Music [2:40] Continuing the punchy feel w/Vijay’s great cover of M.I.A.’s Galang! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCL1RpgYxRM
- [141:39 w/break under] Zu- Monte Zu- Igneo- Frenetic Records [4:54] Another cool date by Zu which features some guest work by Ken Vandermark on reeds + Jeb Bishop on trombone.
- [tiny break 146:21] Vijay Iyer- Accelerando- Accelerando- ACT Music [2:52]
Look below for some pertinent cool videos
from Wikipedia: Nichols was born in San Juan Hill, Manhattan to parents from St. Kitts and Trinidad and grew up in Harlem.
During much of Nichols’s life he was forced to take work as a Dixieland musician instead of playing the more adventurous kind of jazz he preferred, but he is best known today for his own highly original compositions, program music which combines bop, Dixieland, and West Indian music with harmonies derived from Erik Satie and Béla Bartók.
His first known work was with the Royal Barons in 1937, but he did not find performing at Minton’s Playhouse a few years later a very happy experience. The competitive atmosphere did not suit his personality. However, he did become friends with fellow pianist Thelonious Monk, even if his own critical neglect would be more enduring.
Nichols was drafted into the Infantry in 1941. After the war he worked in various setting, beginning to achieve some recognition when Mary Lou Williams recorded some of his songs in 1952. From about 1947 he persisted in trying to persuade Alfred Lion at Blue Note Records to sign him up. He finally recorded some of his compositions for Blue Note in 1955 and 1956, a number of which were not issued until the 1980s. His tune “Serenade” had lyrics added, and as “Lady Sings the Blues” became firmly identified with Billie Holiday. In 1957 he recorded his last album for Bethlehem Records. All of his recordings as leader have been released on CD.
Nichols died from leukemia in New York City at the age of 44.