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ghost of miles posted a topic in Jazz Radio & PodcastsThis week on Night Lights it's "Strange City: The Secret Music of Herbie Nichols." When pianist Herbie Nichols died of leukemia at the age of 44 in 1963, he left behind dozens of unrecorded compositions. Some of them were entrusted to friend and trombonist Roswell Rudd, while others remained undiscovered for decades, until the efforts and detective work of a group known as the Herbie Nichols Project found them in the Library of Congress and elsewhere. For the past 10 years the Herbie Nichols Project has been performing and recording Nichols' music, much of it never put on vinyl by Nichols himself. (Nichols recorded only a handful of LPs for the Blue Note and Bethlehem labels in the mid-1950s.) We'll hear music from all three of their CDs--LOVE IS PROXIMITY and DR. CYCLOPS' DREAM on the Soul Note label, and STRANGE CITY, the most recent recording (2001), released by Palmetto. In addition, Project co-leader and pianist Frank Kimbrough will talk about the group and the Nichols compositions that it's recorded. This program is a repeat of a September 25, 2004 broadcast, and therefore already archived for listening under that date. It will air at 11:05 p.m. EST Saturday night on WFIU, 9 p.m. Central Time on WNIN-Evansville, and at 10 p.m. EST Sunday night on Michigan's Blue Lake Public Radio FM 90.3 and 88.8. The best biographical pieces on Nichols to date can be found in A.B. Spellman's 1967 book Four Jazz Lives. Roswell Rudd's liner notes for the original Mosaic box-set of Nichols' Blue Note recordings are fascinating as well, but hard to find these days. Frank Kimbrough and Ben Allison contributed a combined musical/biographical essay to the 1997 Blue Note commercial re-issue of the same recordings. The website for the Herbie Nichols Project can be found here. Next week: "Nat King Cole's St. Louis Blues."
ghost of miles posted a topic in Mosaic and other box sets...A six-CD set coming from Sunnyside later this autumn--here's the email I just received: I'm very excited to be working with pianist Frank Kimbrough on Monk's Dreams: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious Sphere Monk, a six-CD boxed set of the entire Monk repertoire, to be released November 23 via Sunnyside. The album features Kimbrough with bassist Rufus Reid, drummer Billy Drummond and multi-instrumentalist Scott Robinson. They celebrate the albums on Nov. 27 & 28 at The Jazz Standard in NYC. The recordings came about because, at their October 2017 performance, Kimbrough's friend Mait Jones urged that the group record Monk's entire oeuvre. A jazz fan and co-presenter of his own Princeton series JazzNights, Jones brought in his friend and fellow jazz head, Dr. Dorothy Lieberman, to help co-produce the effort. The recordings form a fantastically diverse collection. On the set Monk's compositions are played in various configurations, most by the quartet, but others in smaller combinations, even solo piano. Highlights of the group's takes on these classic pieces include Robinson's juggling of trumpet and tenor sax on "Thelonious" and the ensemble's free-wheeling energy on "Skippy." "Locomotive" is the picture of peaceful beauty, whereas "Jackie-ing" is all jumps and starts. Reid and Robinson play beautifully on "Reflections" and a lovely solo performance of "Crepuscule with Nellie" showcases Kimbrough's command of the piano and Monk's language. The package also includes beautifully penned liner notes from Nate Chinen (New York Times, WBGO and NPR) along with notes from members of the ensemble and the producers of the album. I'll have downloads soon, but just wanted to make sure you knew about this project. A press release is below. All the best, Ann Braithwaite Office: 781-259-9600 Text: 781-367-9760 Frank Kimbrough Quartet Monk's Dreams: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious Sphere Monk A six-disc boxed set of the entire Thelonious Monk repertoire by a quartet led by pianist Frank Kimbrough will be released November 23, 2018! A celebration of this release will be held Nov. 27th and 28th at the Jazz Standard in New York City! © Marielle Solan The genius of pianist and composer Thelonious Monk is unassailable. Since his death in 1982, he has become recognized as one of the greatest composers of jazz – and of the wider world of music. The year 2017 was the centennial of Monk’s birth, and brought scores of tributes, including a well-received stay of pianist Frank Kimbrough’s quartet at the Jazz Standard club in New York City. Like many jazz pianists, Kimbrough found Monk’s music a revelation when he first heard it. From the outset of his career, Kimbrough has returned time and again to Monk’s compositions. After nearly four decades of study, reflection, and performance, Kimbrough has established a relationship with these pieces and found a way to express himself through the prism of Monk. When the Standard approached Kimbrough to put together a quartet to play Monk’s music, he picked the brilliant rhythm section of bassist Rufus Reid and drummer Billy Drummond. His choice for lead horn voice was the multi-instrumentalist Scott Robinson, with whom he has played for many years and in many combinations, most notably with the Maria Schneider Orchestra. After the first set of the October 17th, 2017 performance at the Standard Kimbrough’s friend Mait Jones urged that the group record Monk’s entire oeuvre, a feat that Kimbrough had never considered. A jazz fan and co-presenter of his own Princeton series JazzNights Jones began a lifelong appreciation of Monk when he heard the master live at the Five Spot in New York City in 1957 . Over the next few days, Jones doubled down on his intent to make the project reach fruition, bringing in his friend and fellow jazz head, Dr. Dorothy Lieberman, to help co-produce the effort. The musicians began the intensive work such a project demands. Finally, in April of 2018 Kimbrough led a trio and then the quartet at Jazz at the Kitano, polishing 30 new tunes on the way to the full Monk catalog of 70 pieces. For the recording, Matt Balitsaris provided his renowned Maggie’s Farm studios and an optimistic plan of recording a disc’s worth of material each day for six days. The musicians recorded each day from 11 to 5 or 6 in two three-day intervals broken up by a three-day respite. Miraculously this ambitious plan succeeded, with most tunes needing only one or two takes. Robinson picked his axe of choice on the spot, from the standard (tenor sax and trumpet) to the exotic (bass saxophone, echo cornet, bass clarinet, and contrabass sarrusophone). The resultant tracks are fresh, varied, and inspired. Highlights of the group’s takes on these classic pieces include Robinson’s juggling of trumpet and tenor sax on “Thelonious” and the ensemble’s free-wheeling energy on “Skippy.” “Locomotive” is the picture of peaceful beauty, whereas “Jackie-ing” is all jumps and starts. Reid and Robinson play beautifully on “Reflections” and a lovely solo performance of “Crepuscule with Nellie” showcases Kimbrough’s command of the piano and Monk’s language. The recordings form a fantastically diverse collection. On the six-CD set, titled Monk's Dreams: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious Sphere Monk, Monk’s compositions are played in various configurations, most by the quartet, but others in smaller combinations, even solo piano. The package also includes beautifully penned liner notes from Nate Chinen (New York Times, WBGO and NPR) along with notes from members of the ensemble and the producers of the album.