Furthermore – Herbie Nichols
This playful song alternates F and A♭ tonalities. The melody includes several intervallic structures that are characteristic of Herbie Nichols. A 2-stave Piano Melody Transcription is available for the master take.
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- Recording: Herbie Nichols - Complete Blue Note Recordings of Herbie Nichols
- Recorded on: August 7, 1955
- Label: Mosaic (MR5-118)
- Concert Key: F
- Style: Swing (uptempo)
- Piano - Herbie Nichols
- Bass - Al McKibbon
- Drums - Max Roach
Elijah Shiffer's concert key analysis below gives you an in depth look into the composition.
Instantly recognizable as a Herbie Nichols composition, this song has that playful quality he excelled at. Within the A section, two keys are alternated: the opening four-measure motif in F is followed by a similar phrase, with a few important differences, in A♭. The stop-and-start rhythms give the melody a conversational quality, with a rest in the second measure separating a descending, slightly bluesy "call" from a more complex "response." This latter phrase is a characteristic Nichols structure, frequently appearing in his solos: an arpeggiated descent followed by rising half steps. These half steps appear in the fourth measure, but not in the eighth measure, where the melody stops on the 9th (B♭ in the key of A♭). The A section changes surround the tonic F and A♭ chords with the IV (B♭7 and D♭7, respectively); the tonic chords in between are in first inversion for smooth, stepwise root motion. The tonic chords then go to the ♭II (G♭7 and A7); in the second A section the A7 doesn't resolve to A♭7 but is held for two measures, with its third, C♯, in the melody.
The bridge is also quite unusual, with the changes moving in a circle of fourths from Bm7♭5, implying a "walk down" to F but instead continuing in minor seventh chords from Gm7; the second half of the bridge is a more conventional "walk down" with an added G♭ chord in the last measure. The bridge melody is simpler, but broken up by a convoluted 8th-note pattern in the second and sixth measures. Though the C section has the same changes as the first A, the last measure of the melody is different yet again, rising to G♭ (the seventh of A♭7).
The intro, also appearing as a coda, is a classic Nichols intro; it's a two-measure figure which uses the arpeggiated phrase from the third and fourth beats of the A section's seventh measure, which is repeated a whole step lower. In the intro this is followed by a four-measure drum break; the coda both precedes and follows the figure with four measures of drums. The solo drum break endings on many of the songs from these Blue Note sessions are one of the major idiosyncrasies of the Herbie Nichols sound.
It should be noted that Herbie's original manuscript contains a quite unusual rhythm in the first measure which he never actually plays. The fourth note in this measure, a C on the "and" of beat 2, is a 16th note, with the following G and A are 32nd notes. The G, E, and C after that are an 8th-note triplet on the third beat. This rhythm is very rushed at such a fast tempo, and on the recordings Herbie replaces it with a more relaxed rhythm where the final C ends up on the downbeat of the second measure, or sometimes on beat 2 of that measure. Our lead sheets show the most common rhythm he uses on the three takes, though he varies it considerably.
A Piano Melody Transcription is available for the in and out heads of the master take; click on Piano Corner for more details.
Three takes of Furthermore were recorded at the same session. After two uptempo takes at around quarter note = 268, Herbie recorded three other songs and then returned to Furthermore, recording a version at a much slower tempo (quarter note = 200). The second take is the master. The only other recording of Furthermore so far is on an album of Nichols songs, released in 2000, by the Boston-based guitarist Eric T. Johnson.
January 3, 1919 – April 12, 1963
Don Sickler "On January 3, 2019, we were at the Van Gelder Recording Studio celebrating Herbie's 100th birthday with his family and pianists Frank Kimbrough and Glenn Zaleski. Both Frank and Glenn each recorded a previously unrecorded Herbie Nichols composition, on the same piano Herbie played for his Blue Note sessions. These were the initial recordings that started my new project, the Herbie Nichols Centennial Project, which debuts January 3, 2024. Read more...