Although he has had a long and productive career, Jack Nimitz has long been underrated, not getting a chance to lead his own record session until a 1995 set for Fresh Sound, when he was already 65.
He started on the clarinet when he was 12, switching to alto two years later, and gigging locally at 15. In 1949, Nimitz started specializing on the baritone and soon was playing with such territory bands as those led by Bob Astor, Johnny Bothwell, and Daryl Harpa.
From 1952-1953, he was back in Washington, D.C., before touring with Woody Herman (October 1953 to September 1955) and a few months with Stan Kenton (1955-1956). He was a regular in the house band at the Savoy and then spent an additional year with Kenton (1958-1959).
Settling in Los Angeles, Nimitz became a busy studio musician and also played with Bill Berry, Benny Carter, Gerald Wilson, Supersax (since its beginning in 1972), Bill Perkins' Big Band, Bud Shank, Frank Strazzeri's Woodwinds West, the Lighthouse All-Stars, and any other high-quality jazz group that needed a talented baritonist.
Source: Scott Yanow
Big Band Report
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