Vintage Vinyl — December 4, 2013 at 9:26 am

Vintage Vinyl – The Phil Nimmons Group


Clarinetist, saxophonist, composer and educator Phil Nimmons has done pretty much everything it’s possible to do in jazz over the course of a career that has stretched over six decades. After taking up the clarinet in a Vancouver high school he played in and wrote arrangements for local dance bands, earned a scholarship to Julliard in New York City and studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. In 1953 he formed his own band, Nimmons ‘n’ Nine, which toured across Canada and Europe, gave jazz clinics in schools and recorded music for dozens of television, radio and film productions. He recently celebrated his 90th birthday, has been a member of the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto since 1973, was awarded the Order of Canada in 1994, and still performs with pianist David Braid.

Take 10 (a title inspired by Dave Brubeck’s classic “Take Five”) was released in 1963 and features an impressive array of Canadian jazz legends, including Jerry Toth (alto sax), Ed Bickert (guitar), Butch Watanabe (trombone) and Ron Rully (drums). “On The Autobahn” is a propulsive number featuring the lyrical tenor sax of Roy Smith and inspired, the liner notes say, by a European tour the group made in 1962.

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