Herbie Nichols

Out of the Shadow

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A loping, immeasurable beat is established in the opening bars of a cozy "Too Close for Comfort," and the nine tracks that follow don't let down a bit from this irresistible opening. In a guessing game, a jazz fan at first might not recognize the players, only that they are really good. The pianist is Herbie Nichols, but playing a standard rather than one of his own unique compositions. The drummer is Dannie Richmond, but playing with a much more relaxed feeling then when engaged in a high-wire act with his most famous bandleader, Charles Mingus. "Every Cloud" rolls in next; it is one of the pianist's originals and the immediate thought is Why isn't this a standard? Bassist George Duviver really needs to be turned up in the mix; that is about the only gripe with the material recorded by this trio for the Bethelem label in 1957. All of the material Nichols recorded deserves, and will more than repay, the space allotted to it in a collection of this genre. This particular session, which the British Affinity label eventually reissued in different form on CD, has some key Nichols material on it including the realistic "Love, Gloom, Cash, Love." In fact, all the original tunes are gems, just like everything this pianist wrote. The rhythm section is great; there is just no going wrong in this case. The vinyl edition strived mightily to retain the original sound of the sessions -- the label released it in mono, and not the communicable disease.

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