The Ira Sullivan Quintet – Nicky’s Tune
Delmark DD 422 (1994)
Nicky Hill is an underground hero of jazz who played in Chicago at a time when the scene included Eddie Harris, Gene Ammons, Ramsey Lewis, Ahmad Jamal, etc. Fortunately, it also included Ira Sullivan, with whom Nicky Worked regularly. His “inside” playing presaged the experimentation on the later AACM generation. Albums with the MJT+3 and Sonny Stitt on Argo, and two with Ira for VeeJay and Delmark constitute his legacy.
Ira Sullivan’s multi-instrumental talent was widely exposed during his stay with Art Blakey and Red Rodney prior to self-led forays from his home in Miami and his albums for Muse, Atlantic, Discovery, Fantasy (with Red), and more.
Jodie Christian, arguably the best pianist in Chicago, has recorded with John Klemmer (Cadet), Eddie Harris (Atlantic), Frank Walton, Brad Goode, Mike Smith, Lin Halliday (all Delmark), in addition to his own trio albums with Steeplechase and Delmark: Experience (Delmark 454) and Rain or Shine (Delmark 467), with Art Porter and Roscoe Mitchell.