Not long ago I wrote that pianist John Hicks seemed to be great no matter what context you placed him in, with violinist Billy Bang in that case.
Looking today, I see I've mentioned Hicks a half dozen times since I started this jazz journal last year, with James Carter, Chico Freeman, and Jimmy Ponder as well as Bang. I really liked a duet CD featuring Hicks and bassist Richard Davis (who's kind of like the Hicks of the bass). I also enjoyed seeing him dueting live with Frank Morgan in LA last year.
Hicks, who died yesterday, led many of his own sessions, too. I'm partial to "Fatha's Day: An Earl Hines Songbook" from High Note. He may not have been a big name outside of the circle of musicians he played with so well, but I think the guy was an unsung jazz giant.