234

Phil Nimmons: Vintage Nimmons 'n Nine: CDB Air Checks 1959-64

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
By the time the programs from which these air checks are taken were heard via the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, composer / arranger / bandleader / clarinetist Phil Nimmons was well–known in that country, having started his career with the CBC in the early 1940s and begun a twenty–year run of regular Jazz broadcasts in 1957. Even though the selections herein were transferred to disc from forty–year–and–older analog tapes, the over–all sound is remarkably clean, especially when compared to other air checks we’ve heard. Monaural of course, but that can’t be helped. What is perhaps most striking is the consistently high quality and inventiveness of Nimmons’s charts (he arranged everything and wrote all but three numbers — Goodbye,” “Too Late Now,” “Lush Life”).

Disc 1 is Nimmons all the way, opening with the brief but aptly named “I Love to Play” and encompassing nine more of his absorbing compositions. Nimmons always had a number of capable soloists in the band, and there are stylish features for guitarist Ed Bickert (“One Long Song”), trombonist Butch Watanabe (“Not Soon Enough”), bassist Murray Lauder (“Bass–ically Yours”), alto Jerry Toth and tenor Roy Smith (“Exactly Like Jerry Smith”), Bickert and Toth (“Twooch”) and Nimmons himself with accordionist Vic Centro (“Squits”).

Bickert, who later enjoyed a long and happy association with Rob McConnell’s Boss Brass (as did Nimmons alumni Toth and Rick Wilkins), is showcased again on Disc 2’s opening track, “Peaches and Brandy,” and with tenor Smith on the fast-moving “I Told You So,” Watanabe and Lauder on “Sku–Ba–Doo” and trumpeter Erich Traugott on the lovely ballad “Too Late Now.” Traugott has the spotlight to himself on Billy Strayhorn’s “Lush Life,” as do Smith on “The Getaway” and trombonist Teddy Roderman on Gordon Jenkins’ “Goodbye.” The bluesy closing theme, “Kicks,” featuring laid–back solos by Bickert, Toth and Smith, is also well–named.

For more than two decades Nimmons ‘N Nine (later Nimmons ‘N Nine Plus Six) was one of Canda’s busiest and most popular Jazz ensembles, and these radio broadcasts are a tangible signpost of that era. What’s even more important, however, is that the music is delightful and readily masters the test of time. It’s “vintage” all the way.


Track Listing: Disc 1

Personnel: Phil Nimmons, leader, clarinet; Jerry Toth, Bernie Piltch, alto sax; Roy Smith, Rick Wilkins, tenor sax; Eddie Karam, Jack Taylor, baritone sax; Erich Traugott, trumpet; Ross Culley, Butch Watanabe, Teddy Roderman, trombone; Vic Centro, accordion; Ed Bickert, guitar; Murray Lauder, bass; Ron Scully, Archie Alleyne, Jack McQuade, drums.

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Sackville | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read Northern Adventures CD/LP/Track Review Northern Adventures
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Collider CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Eos CD/LP/Track Review Eos
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 28, 2017
Read More Than This CD/LP/Track Review More Than This
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Visual Music" CD/LP/Track Review Visual Music
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 27, 2016
Read "Transatlantic Conversations: 11 Piece Band Live" CD/LP/Track Review Transatlantic Conversations: 11 Piece Band Live
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 14, 2016
Read "Poetry For The Beat Generation" CD/LP/Track Review Poetry For The Beat Generation
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: December 11, 2016
Read "Goodbye Red Rose (2008/9)" CD/LP/Track Review Goodbye Red Rose (2008/9)
by John Eyles
Published: October 16, 2016
Read "Flowers" CD/LP/Track Review Flowers
by John Sharpe
Published: November 23, 2016
Read "Protean Reality" CD/LP/Track Review Protean Reality
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 24, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!