Recent Listening In Brief
We continue to consider relatively recent recordings that deserve greater recognition.
In the New York jazz scene of the 1950s and early sixties, the breadth and depth of his talent won enormous respect for pianist and composer Herbie Nichols (pictured left). His composition “Lady Sings The Blues” was recorded by Billie Holiday, who adapted its title as the name of her autobiography. Nichols was in the generation that included Thelonious Monk and other musicians important in the transition from swing to bebop. Among them were artists like Milt Larkin and Eddie Vinson.
One of those affected by Nichols is Duck Baker, a fingerstyle guitarist from Richmond, Virginia Richmond, Virginia. Baker has been praised by guitar idols including Chet Atkins and Charlie Byrd. Unfortunately, Triple Point Records has provided neither audio nor video of music from Baker’s Spinning Song LP. The album includes nine of Nichols’ compositions including the title tune, plus “The Third World,” “House Party Starting” and “2300 Skidoo.” Nonetheless, we thought you would be interested in seeing and hearing this unusual musician. The piece is called, appropriately enough, “Finger Picking Blues.”
Baker’s album of Herbie Nichols tunes is worth checking out.