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Rooster_Ties

I need more John Hicks (recommendations)...

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I'm looking for John Hicks recomendations, either as a leader - or as a sideman.

I'm a bit ashamed to admit that although I have about 6 or 8 releases with Hicks as a sideman, alas - somehow I don't have any with him as a leader. :o

I had the good forture to hear Hicks perform live, here in Kansas City last fall, with Bobby Watson -- and I was totally blown away. I knew he was good, but the details in his comping, along with the two or three solo-piano tunes he played - was enough to made me think he might be one of the all-time best jazz piano-players alive today.

How's his first Strata East date, from 1978 ("Hell's Bells")?? I see it has been released on CD, and I'm a *BIG* fan of most of the Strata East records I've ever heard.

Also, any solo-piano Hicks to recomend??

Edited by Rooster_Ties

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Check out local Barnes & Nobles to see if they have John's Maybeck Recital on Concord. The two stores I visited here had copies, of course on sale for $3.99. It's a keeper.

Edited by Saint Vitus

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It's amazing about some of the guys that fly under the radar. I only became aware of Hicks through an interview with him in Cadence in the mid-nineties. I picked up a couple of his cds that had been reissued on Evidence. They're were pretty good.

His recent recordings on the High Note label have been getting good reviews. I don't mean to sound like a shill for emusic.com, but I believe they have some of his recent albums available for download. It's a pretty good deal for $10/month, but the mp3 quality isn't always that great (especially with some of the Fantasy records stuff).

I'm also a big fan of the Strata East label. My favorite Strata East release is Pharoah Sanders' Izipho Zam. I also like the Charles Tolliver stuff. I search forever to find the two Strata East cds that I have of his, Live in Tokyo and Impact.

I too look forward to any suggestions for Hicks' music.

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if you have not see it, the art blakey and the jazz messengers video from london 1965 is well worth finding. line up is Lee Morgan(tp)John GIlmore(ts)John Hicks(p)Victor Sproles(b)Art Blakey(d). some nice playing by hicks and everyone else :)

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Check out the Keystone Trio cds on Milestone.

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Hicks entry in the Concord Maybeck Recital series is one of the best, he really shows his Tyner & Coltrane roots on that one with a particularly effective version of "After the Rain".

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Hicks is one of my favorite pianists. I strongly support the recommendation of his Maybeck disc. It's probably the place to start.

I also really like a solo album he recorded in 1992 at the Montreal Jazz Festival called "After the Rain". It's on a small Canadian label DSM. Grab it is you ever see it.

The trio date "Beyond Expectation" and a duo set with guitarist Peter Leitch "Duality" both on Reservoir are excellent discs.

There 's also a trio date on Timeless from 1990 (the title excapes me at the moment) which is very good.

Hicks is also excellent as a sideman. An example I've heard recently is his work on James Spaulding's Escapade on High Note.

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He gigs frequently in NY, I have seen him many times; he's a very talented and versatile pianist, as you know, but not all of his records are on the same high level, imo.

That being said, the recent Sonny Clark tribute disc is pretty good.

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As AfricaBrass mentioned, EMusic has 4 High Note titles and also the Maybeck set.

Try to find "Power Trio" from 1990. I believe it's OOP, but I see it in used stores quite often. With Elvin Jones and Cecil McBee, it's a WINNER.

More great sideman work is on Pharaoh Sanders' "Journey to the One" and "Rejoice". Also two live albums - Betty Carter's "The Audience with B.C." and Charles Tolliver's "Grand Max".

Edited by BFrank

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Sideman wise there's an excellent batch with David Murray on DIW and Red Baron.And seconding JohnS do check out those Keystone Trios,particularly the Rollins tribute Newklear Music...beautiful.Picked up Power Trio s/hand myself easily not so long ago,dream trio.

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One of the Hicks sideman discs I do already own is David Murray's "Ballads for Bass Clarinet", which really is both ballads and some mid-tempo tunes. (It's not nearly as sedate as it's title might indicate.)

So, yes, I will have to check out some other Murray discs with Hicks.

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Definitely check out the High Note releases ... I recently got them from emusic and love them!

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Forgot to mention a Hicks set on DIW,"Sketches Of Tokyo",a duo set again with Murray.As with most duos with the tenorist he dominates proceedings but to my ears that's no bad thing.Pity the Japanese stuff is so expensive these days.

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I assume it must be OOP now, but John's 1992 CD on Novus, Friends Old and New is highly recomended. The friends are a very young Joshua Redman, Al Grey, and Clark Terry.

John made a bunch of records with David Murray, and though I sometimes have mixed feelings about Murray, the ones with Hicks are some of his best. Ming's Samba on Columbia/Portrait is the fave, but Morning Song and I Want to Talk About You (on Black Saint) and Fast Life (on DIW) are recommended.

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Strongly recommend Naima and the Keystone cds.

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East Side Blues (DIW) highly recommended , from memory Curtis Lundy is featured , recorded in Tokyo, great sound .!!!!

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John Hicks is the pianist on Mobley's "Hi Voltage" session. I've only listened to a couple of times - a while ago (I know- I should be ashamed - will work to fix this when I get TIME). I think there are a couple of tasty solos and some good session work.

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Isn't Hicks on Booker Ervin's "Structurally Sound" as well? Whomever tickles the ivories on that session is BAAAD! :D

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Isn't Hicks on Booker Ervin's "Structurally Sound" as well? Whomever tickles the ivories on that session is BAAAD! :D

Yes. B)

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Two more Hicks recommendations are:

Naima's Love Song

Probably one of the best albums from the 80's. Boby Watson is very dominant here though he appears as a sideman. Some of the songs have harmonies and melodies that remind popular soul music, it's great (especially the first two: "Elementary My Dear Watson " and "Someday Soon ").

Something to Live For: A Billy Strayhorn Songbook

This is a good place to hear Hicks in a trio setting.

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Hmm, Rooster,

I seem to remember offering you a John Hicks title in one of our multi-disc trades...

Can't remember the title, but I no longer have it.

I was introduced to John Hicks early in my jazz-loving career through his collaborations with Pharoah Sanders. His play on "Journey to the One" is excellent. I've had several of his discs as leader, but I've traded some of them away for whatever reasons. I still have "Friends Old and New" which is a straightahead session. I love it, but you might not like it as much.

My favorite cd is "Crazy For You," where Hicks plays Gershwin's music. I've kept that one.

:g

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Seconds on several of the above:

Crazy for You (the Gershwin material on Red Baron)

Power Trio on Novus

Beyond Expectations on Reservoir

I also like Some Other Time on Evidence. All of these are trios.

I have maybe 10 Hicks trio CDs, all of which are enjoyable. These are just the cream of the crop.

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Listened to IS THAT SO? (Timeless), a trio recording with Ray Drummond and Idris Muhammad just the other evening. I recommend that one highly.

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John Hicks made his first appearance on the Sonny Simmons LP "Staying on the Watch" (ESP, 1966). He tears it up on that one, for sure. Apparently he was so young that his dad sat in on the session to make sure no funny business happened.

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John Hicks made his first appearance on the Sonny Simmons LP "Staying on the Watch" (ESP, 1966).

We'll just sorta ignore the Art Blakey date from 1964, and anything before that. ;)

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