Internationally known for his music heard on the iconic television series, The Wire, pianist-composer Lafayette Gilchrist draws on the span of jazz history, as well as funk and go-go.
With Lafayette Gilchrist Plays Herbie Nichols and Lafayette Gilchrist, Gilchrist makes inter-generational connections in the evolution of jazz. In the first half of the program, Gilchrist interprets the music of Herbie Nichols, a pianist-composer largely overlooked in his too-brief lifetime – he died in 1963 at 44 from cancer – but whose work is now compared to that of Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk. Leading his new sextet with tenor saxophonist Brian Settles, trombonist Christian Hizon, bassist Herman Burney, drummer Eric Kennedy, and percussion Kevin Pinder, Gilchrist will perform music Nichols recorded with only bass and drums, as well as compositions Nichols did not live to record.
The other half of the program will feature Gilchrist’s original compositions. His work thrives on making surprising mashes of styles and influences. The New York Times cited that “New Orleans barrelhouse piano, the Impressionism of Ravel and Duke Ellington’s jaggy solo-piano sound form the bedrock of Lafayette Gilchrist’s style at the keyboard. But if there’s one big influence on the way he thinks about rhythm, it’s the deeply swinging ‘pocket’ of a classic go-go beat.” “Lafayette Gilchrist has dug deep into history,” praised NPR, “he’s tapping into jazz’s spiritual, historical and cultural roots. He’s an old soul at ease in the modern world.”
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