Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!


Jack Nimitz and Friends . . .: Yesterday and Today

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Yesterday and Today comprises two sessions recorded half a century apart, each of which offers a rare chance to sing the praises of baritone saxophonist Jack Nimitz, a longtime standout on the West Coast scene. Somehow he has managed to produce only three albums with his name above the marquee, the first of which—Confirmation—was released in 1995, the same year he turned old enough to start cashing Social Security checks. While it's not true that Nimitz' picture appears next to the word "underrated" in Webster's dictionary, one wouldn't be too surprised if it were.

The first half of the album embodies a previously unreleased date from March 1957 co-led by Nimitz and trombonist Bill Harris, the second a quintet session in January '07 that features a two-baritone front line, the veteran Nimitz and young lion Adam Schroeder who was born twenty-one years after the earlier component was recorded. The Nimitz / Harris collaboration is marked by inspired blowing by the co-leaders, but hampered on most tracks by a rather enervated and superfluous string section that adds little to the performance. The '07 date boasts an especially sharp and sure-handed rhythm section (John Campbell, piano; Dave Carpenter, bass; Joe La Barbera, drums).

Nimitz was more the Mulligan disciple in '57, enhancing his buoyant sound and exemplary technique with melodically persuasive phrases worthy of Jeru himself. His tone is heavier now, the patterns less precise but no less rewarding. Most of all, the fire is still there and Nimitz plays with the energy and exuberance of someone half his age. As for the two baris, the booklet informs us that Nimitz is on the right channel, Schroeder on the left. Even though there's not much stereo separation and their modulation is quite similar, one should have no trouble singling them out.

The earlier session consists entirely of standards. While Nimitz wrote a pair of originals for the '07 date—"More Friends" and "All You Are"—they are barely disguised versions of "Just Friends" and "All the Things You Are." In both instances, the flag-wavers set the bar high—"The Love Nest" and "Shine" in '57, "Bernie's Tune," "Friends," "Groovin' High," "It's You or No One" on the more recent outing. That's not to say that anything else is less than entertaining. Nimitz has always been singularly impressive on ballads, as he proves on "A Handful of Stars," "Autumn Nocturne" and "Polka Dots and Moonbeams." Other highlights include "Long Ago and Far Away," "You and the Night and the Music" and "Somebody Loves Me" ('57), Mike Barone's "Waltz This!" and Monk's "Well, You Needn't" ('07).

In each case, Nimitz couldn't have asked for more compatible front-line partners. Harris is at the top of his customarily remarkable game, while Schroeder shadows Nimitz stride for stride and note for note at tempos that range from leisurely to breakneck. There's solo space for Campbell, Carpenter and La Barbera too, and each one delivers the goods. Even so, Nimitz is the unequivocal star, and Yesterday and Today is an album that one should derive great pleasure from revisiting today and tomorrow.

Track Listing: Long Ago and Far Away; A Handful of Stars; You and the Night and the Music; Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise; The Love Nest; Autumn Nocturne; Somebody Loves Me; Lean on Me; Shine; Bernie's Tune; Waltz This!; More Friends; Groovin' High; All You Are; Well, You Needn't; Polka Dots and Moonbeams; It's You or No One.

Personnel: Tracks 1-9 (collective): Jack Nimitz: baritone sax; Bill Harris: trombone; Kenny Burrell: guitar; Jimmy Raney: guitar; Chuck Wayne: guitar; Oscar Pettiford: bass; Russ Saunders: bass; Don Lamond: drums;Ted Sommer: drums; Gene Orloff: violin; Harry Lukofsky: violin; Dick Whetmore: violin; Seymour Barab: violin; George Koutzen: violin; George Ricci: violin; Alan Schulman: violin; Lucien Schmidt: violin; Harvey Shapiro: cello. NYC, March 1957. Tracks 10-17: Jack Nimitz: baritone sax; Adam Schroeder: baritone sax; John Campbell: piano; Dave Carpenter: bass; Joe La Barbera: drums. Hollywood, CA, January 2007.

Title: Yesterday and Today | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Fresh Sound Records


comments powered by Disqus

Warning: include(/data/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html/content/article.php on line 68

Warning: include(): Failed opening '/data/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php5:/data/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html:/usr/share/php') in /home/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html/content/article.php on line 68

More Articles

Read Flaneur CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read Vertical CD/LP/Track Review Vertical
by Don Phipps
Published: January 16, 2018
Read In Stride CD/LP/Track Review In Stride
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 16, 2018
Read Solid Gold CD/LP/Track Review Solid Gold
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 15, 2018
Read Ts'iibil Chaaltun CD/LP/Track Review Ts'iibil Chaaltun
by Don Phipps
Published: January 15, 2018
Read "Mandala" CD/LP/Track Review Mandala
by Samuel Stroup
Published: December 20, 2017
Read "Stinkin' 3.0" CD/LP/Track Review Stinkin' 3.0
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 20, 2017
Read "Organ Monk Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Organ Monk Blue
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: December 30, 2017
Read "Collider" CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017
Read "The Late Set" CD/LP/Track Review The Late Set
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 14, 2017
Read "Moment Frozen" CD/LP/Track Review Moment Frozen
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 19, 2017