Herbie Nichols was not a star in his lifetime, and like so many jazzmen he died young, nothing to do with drugs, but in this case leukaemia. No one survived that kind of diagnosis in 1963. It was 51 years ago to this day.
He was a great pianist, and wrote nearly all of his stuff, one of the many similarities with the far more famous (and also brilliant) Thelonious Monk.
The Blue Note recordings are very fine, but I agree with Marc Myers in this excellent blog, that one of his masterpieces was something that for Herbie was unusual, a cover version. In this case Frank Sinatra’s All The Way.