Ask a jazz fan about Herbie Nichols, and the reaction is likely to be either, "He's a genius," or "Who?" The pianist and composer is the paradigm of a genius neglected in his own time. Nichols's classic mid-'50s sides for Blue Note were all but forgotten when he passed at 44 in 1963. A.B. Spellman memorialized him with a chapter in 1966's Four Lives in the Be-Bop Business, but he didn't get much respect till… more »
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