Most Valued Player: Herbie Nichols
by Nic Jones
There is a tradition of dissent in the realm of jazz piano playing, and it stretches from Count Basie to Andrew Hill. The players within it all forsook or have forsaken what might be called correct virtuosity in favour of idiosyncratic approaches of their own devising. Within this stream there is a small enclave occupied by a trio of pianist-composers, namely Hill, Thelonious Monk, and Herbie Nichols, who even now enjoys comparatively little coverage.