1919-1963. A jazz pianist/composer from New York. Though he was a peer of the hard boppers, he was encyclopedic in his knowledge of jazz history, and could be fairly eclectic and forward-looking, similar to a later pianist like Jaki Byard. He pretty much toiled in obscurity, except for one tune, "Lady Sings the Blues", that caught the ear of Billie Holiday, who added lyrics to it. Long after his death, the only available recordings of his work was a double LP of some of his Blue Note trio material, thanks to Michael Cuscuna's reissue series. Nichols never got to record the quintet he had put together prior to his death.

Several years ago, trombonist Roswell Rudd, an alumnus of that last group, put together the Herbie Nichols Project - an attempt to finally get some exposure for the music. In the last few years Rudd (under his own name) and the Project have released several CDs of Nichols stuff, and Blue Note released their entire archive of his recordings.

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