[Mark Miller] is as good at describing Nichols' music as he is at capturing and organizing the details of Nichols' life and even his states of mind.
This is a major work about a major musician whose time must surely come. Mark Miller's eminently accessible book will make Herbie Nichols' eminently accessible music to a wider and more appreciative audience.
Miller's work is thorough, enlightening and a very readable achievement, filling a vital gap in jazz history.
HERBIE NICHOLS: A JAZZIST’S LIFE is, in its own quiet way, equal and perhaps superior to larger competition. It could fascinate a reader who had never heard Nichols on record or in person: Miller is that fine a writer and researcher.
Miller's biography is an essential step in the process of recovery and celebration, consolidating and adding to what's known about one of the most compelling figures in postwar jazz.
In truth, he became a Nichols — by his own description a “jazzist” and by any other name a singular figure on the New York jazz scene of the 1950s. He composed and all too infrequently recorded music whose originality, modernity and humour — set him apart from his contemporaries.
Increasingly celebrated in the years since his death, Nichols is now honoured with this sympathetic and engaging biography.