Albert Nicholas

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Albert Nicholas
Albert Nicholas (Gottlieb 06571).jpg
Albert Nicholas, Jimmy Ryan's (Club), New York, ca. March 1947. Image: William P. Gottlieb
Background information
Born(1900-05-27)May 27, 1900
New Orleans, Louisiana, US
DiedSeptember 3, 1973(1973-09-03) (aged 73)
Basel, Switzerland
Years active1910s–1973

Albert Nicholas (May 27, 1900, New Orleans, Louisiana – September 3, 1973, Basel, Switzerland) was an American jazz reed player.

Nicholas's primary instrument was the clarinet, which he studied with Lorenzo Tio in his hometown of New Orleans. Late in the 1910s he played with Buddy Petit, King Oliver, and Manuel Perez. He spent three years in the Merchant Marines and then joined up again with Oliver in Chicago from 1925 to 1927. After time in East Asia and Egypt, he returned to New York City in 1928 and played with Luis Russell until 1933, playing there with Red Allen, Charlie Holmes, and J. C. Higginbotham. Later he played with Chick Webb, Louis Armstrong (with Russell) and Jelly Roll Morton (recorded 1929, 1939).

The Dixieland jazz revival of the late 1940s reinvigorated his career; he played with Art Hodes, Bunk Johnson, and Kid Ory, and had a regular gig with Ralph Sutton in 1948. In 1953 he moved to France; except for recording sessions in the U.S. in 1959-60, he remained there for the rest of his life.

Nicholas's uncle was Wooden Joe Nicholas.


  • Albert Nicholas New Orleans Parade Vol 2 (EPL7172 Vogue, 1955) France
  • Albert Nicholas And Mezz Mezzrow (Jazztone, 1956)
  • Americans in Europe Vol. 2 (Impulse!, 1963)
  • Albert Nicholas Featuring Miriam Klein (1971)
  • Let Me Tell You (EMI, 1974)


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