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Atlantic Suite, Suite P.E.I., Tributes

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Album Review

A fine straightahead arranger-composer, Canadian Phil Nimmons has long had an underground reputation in the U.S., based on his memorable "Atlantic Suite" of 1975. This two-CD set from 1997 reissues that five-part work and the 17-minute "Suite P.E.I.," which was part of an obscure Candian sampler LP, and adds a full CD of previously unreleased material. The "Suite P.E.I.," a showcase for Nimmons' clarinet, utilizes a nonet, while the other pieces are played by big bands filled with notable Canadian jazzmen. Among the many soloists are trumpeters Herbie Spanier and Mike Malone, tenorman Art Ellefson, altoist Dave Caldwell and trombonist Dave McMurdo. Although the music is largely straight-ahead, it has its unpredictable moments filled with plenty of interesting surprises. Surprisingly, Phil Nimmons has not recorded much since this period, so the welcome twofer is his definitive release.


Born: June 3, 1923 in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canad

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

A prolific writer and arranger, Canadian clarinetist Phil Nimmons has never received due praise from the international jazz community. Nimmons' heavy involvement in jazz education (he has been on the University of Toronto faculty since 1973) has allowed him to act as mentor for many of Canada's jazz writers and arrangers, although it has perhaps prevented him from receiving the recognition he deserves. Nimmons' own works in both the jazz and classical vein date from 1948. The 1974 recording of his...
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Atlantic Suite, Suite P.E.I., Tributes, Phil Nimmons
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