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Jackie McLean

John H. Armwood Jazz History Lecture Nashville's Cheekwood Arts Center 1989

Thursday, May 11, 2006

DO THE MATH: Brief (Village Vanguard Style) Obituary for John Hicks

DO THE MATH: Brief (Village Vanguard Style) Obituary for John Hicks

the V.V. tonight, Ethan heard an excellent set of Fly (Mark Turner, Larry Grenadier, and Jeff Ballard). His companion at the bar was Stanley Crouch, who informed Iverson that John Hicks had passed away.

We salute a modern jazz piano master. The last time Iverson saw Hicks it was with the Charles Tolliver big band, about three or four months ago at the Jazz Standard. Hicks was the star of the show.

We have always been a little disappointed in John Hicks on record.

Crouch said tonight: I heard him live with both Arthur Blythe and Pharoh Sanders when he played---amazing, He knew everything--the whole history of jazz piano. A trio record? Try the one with Elvin Jones and Cecil Mcbee--I think you'll like that one.

Mickey, the elder bartender at the Vanguard, chimed in with: John Hicks was the favorite piano player of both Bradley [the owner of the famous defunct piano bar] and Max Gordon [the first owner of the Vanguard]. He also knew every tune.

Crouch: Yeah, you could ask him for any standard, or even any jazz tune, and he wouid know it.

EI: I just checked out an album of his where he plays Sonny Clark music--not that common a repertoire!

Crouch: Well, you dig?

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