The Nice

The Nice was an English organ-rock/psych band from London that released the album The Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack on Immediate in March 1968, followed that December by Ars Longa Vita Brevis, recorded as a trio after the departure of guitarist Davy O’List. The band’s self-titled third album — released stateside as Everything as Nice as Mother Makes It — appeared in 1969. That October, the band recorded a classical work, Five Bridges Suite, at Fairfield Halls with backing by trumpeter Kenny Wheeler and the Sinfonia of London. The recording was issued on Charisma/Philips in June 1970, several months after keyboardist Keith Emerson disbanded the group to form Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

Members: Keith Emerson (keyboards), Lee Jackson (vocals, bass, guitar), Ian Hague (drums, 1967), Davy O’List (guitar, vocals, 1967-68), Brian Davison (drums, 1967-70)

Emerson, along with ex-King Crimson vocalist/bassist Greg Lake and former-Atomic Rooster drummer Carl Palmer, formed the super-trio Emerson, Lake and Palmer, issuing seven studio albums and one double-live set to international success during the 1970s. Bassist/vocalist Lee Jackson recorded four albums as part of Jackson Heights between 1970 and 1973. Drummer Brian Davison formed Every Which Way, which issued one album on Charisma in 1970 with ex-Skip Bifferty vocalist Graham Bell. In 1974, Jackson and Davison re-teamed for the Charisma one-off Refugee with up-and-coming keyboardist Patrick Moraz. O’List resurfaced in 1975 in Jet, formed by Island-era Sparks sidemen.

Of Jackson, Stratton-Smith wrote “Lee’s tinted glasses, glinting awareness, and driving bass, the mahogany vocals — these were as much Nice mnemonics as the famous “Rondo” itself.” (King Progress liner notes, 1970).


  • The Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack (1968)
  • Ars Longa Vita Brevis (1968)
  • Nice [aka Everything as Nice as Mother Makes It] (1969)
  • Five Bridges (live, 1970)
  • Elegy (live, 1971)

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