Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Sammy Nestico: This Is the Moment

Some composers’ and arrangers’ trademark harmonies and favorite melodic/rhythmic patterns give them away after just a few bars, and Sammy Nestico is one of them. Although Nestico has provided music in many contexts, his compositions and arrangements for the Count Basie Orchestra, in particular, have endeared him to jazz audiences. Highly melodic, with attractive harmonies and voicings, they run the gamut from lush ballads to hard-driving swingers, all bearing Nestico’s personal stamp. This Is the Moment (Fenwood) offers a sample of Nestico’s music as performed by some of Los Angeles’ top players. Basie tunes like “The Blues Machine” and “This Is the Moment” share the program with such varied fare as an update of an earlier arrangement of “Chelsea Bridge,” “Shoreline Drive,” from his 1970s Dark Orchid album, and even the “Disney Salute” he wrote for Disney World’s 25th anniversary. Although strings and French horns assist at times, the signature Nestico big-band sound predominates, complemented by fine solos from tenorists Pete Christlieb and Tom Scott, altoists Gary Foster and Dan Higgins, flutist Hubert Laws, trumpeter Warren Luening, and trombonist Andy Martin, among others.

Originally Published