Sunday, April 24, 2011

Plural Circle bandleader Ed Nuccilli ... another jazz loss

Posted By on Sun, Apr 24, 2011 at 10:24 PM

Sad to report that Ed Nuccilli, leader of the band Plural Circle, has passed away after a long illness, according to family writing on his Facebook page Saturday.

Nuccilli was a consummate arranger of his own originals and the works of the greats. When his group was featured during the Detroit Jazz Fest -- if memory serves me, he was a closing or near-closing act a good number of times -- you could always count on him gathering together a cream-of-the-crop big band, and matching the guys with captivating arrangements. Some years you'd get to the end of the festival and feel you'd heard just a few too many standard arrangements of standard standards, and then Ed and company would swing into fresh territory.

"His charts are so heavy that once I was playing one and I burst out crying. It just hit me on a spiritual level. Cats don’t write like that anymore," reedman Wendell Harrison told MT's jazz scribe Charles Latimer for 2005 profile. At the time, Nuccilli, 80, had taken up a monthly residency at Baker's Keyboard Lounge.

Latimer's 2005 profile is a good read on Nuccilli's life and artistry. Testimonials from area musicians are being added to the Ed Nuccilli & Plural Circle page of Facebook. There's also more about Ed and the band at pluralcircle.com.

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