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NICO BUNINK

Summary | Biography | Discography | Photos | Audio/Video

portretfoto

Period

22-04-1936 - 26-12-2001

Genre

jazz, piano

Pseudonyms

Floris Nico Bunink

Nico Bunink

Floris Nico Bunink (Amsterdam, 22 April 1936 – Amsterdam, 26 December 2001) is one of the best post-war jazz pianists in the Netherlands. His career in the Netherlands develops fast, he enjoys a remarkable period in Paris, and works in the States for a number of years, where Charles ...
Full biography

Instruments

piano

Mentioned in the biography of

1978   Rob Peters

Biography Nico Bunink

Floris Nico Bunink (Amsterdam, 22 April 1936 – Amsterdam, 26 December 2001) is one of the best post-war jazz pianists in the Netherlands. His career in the Netherlands develops fast, he enjoys a remarkable period in Paris, and works in the States for a number of years, where Charles Mingus takes him into the recording studio. His career then takes on a slower pace, for a number of reasons. Bunink's recorded legacy is therefore fairly small for someone of his stature. Shortly before and after his death, fortunately, a number of CDs are released which do justice to his work.

1955 - 1958

Nico Bunink (without his first name Floris, which he doesn't start to use until the late 80s) starts taking piano lessons as a child, hears records by his bebop heroes like Bud Powell as a teenager, and decides to become a jazz pianist. As early as 1955 he wins second prize at the AVRO Jazz competition with his own combo, featuring other young talents like bassist Ruud Jacobs and drummer Cees See. A year later Bunink moves to Paris, where he records an LP with saxophonist Barney Wilen, and accompanies visiting American soloists.

1959 - 1971

In January 1959 he ventures a move to America, where he also ends up with a full calendar as a freelancer, accompanying singer Dinah Washington and – on and off – as Charles Mingus's pianist in the years 1959-'60. During that time he makes a number of recordings with Mingus which don't classify as the best of either's work, but do contain some of Mingus's spontaneity and raw energy. He also plays with Hank Mobley, Kenny Dorham and Milt Jackson. In an interview with Dutch jazz magazine Jazz Nu the pianist says that he considers Mingus's timing to be somewhat rigid, even like 'the German army'. The best rhythm section he ever played with, so he says in the same interview, consisted of bassist Percy Heath and drummer Connie Kay.

1972 - 1987

Bunink returns to Amsterdam with a carefully cultivated American accent and a plethora of stories about his American adventures. In the down-to-earth Dutch jazz scene this doesn't always go down well. Moreover, the conservatory generation of the early 80s offers him some serious competition. Bunink works with singer Soesja Citroen for a number of years, and is on best form when he is offered the opportunity to record an LP with trombonist Jimmy Knepper, whom he still knows from his Mingus days.

1988 - 2001

In 1988 Bunink gives an unprepared duo concert with the famous Danish bassist Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen (at a double bass festival in Amsterdam) and proves that he still ranks with the best. This performance is later released on CD. In the same year he and his wife Elena move to France. Bunink has just returned to Amsterdam when he dies as a result of a serious illness. He is maybe, as Jeroen de Valk puts it in his liner notes to the CD reissue of the Knepper LP, 'the best Dutch musician you never
heard'.

Discography Nico Bunink

In the discography you will find all recordings that have been released listed chronologically. We restrict ourselves to the title, the type of audio, year of publication or recording, label, list of guest musicians, plus any comments on the issue.

Photos Nico Bunink

Audio/Video Nico Bunink

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