Big Nick Nicholas
|Big Nick Nicholas|
Big Nick Nicholas at Keystone Korner, San Francisco, California, September 8, 1981
|Birth name||George Walker Nicholas|
August 2, 1922|
|Origin||Queens, New York, U.S.|
|Died||October 29, 1997
George Walker "Big Nick" Nicholas (August 2, 1922, – October 29, 1997) was an American jazz saxophonist and singer. Strongly influenced by his hero, Coleman Hawkins, Nicholas in turn influenced a young John Coltrane to compose his tribute "Big Nick", included on the 1962 album Duke Ellington & John Coltrane.
Nicholas contributed the 16-bar solo to Dizzy Gillespie's classic African-Cuban jazz piece "Manteca" (1947). At that time, he also started playing with Hot Lips Page, a working relationship that continued until 1954. He joined Buck Clayton in 1955.
Nicholas started playing with Hank and Thad Jones, Earl Hines, and Tiny Bradshaw before going into the army and, on being discharged in the late 1940s, he worked with bands led by Sabby Lewis, J. C. Heard, and Lucky Millinder. He went on to play with Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Charlie Parker, and Charlie Mingus.
Nicholas died of heart failure in October 1997 at the age of 75.
- 1984: Big and Warm (India Navigation)
- 1985: Big Nick (India Navigation)
- 1951 Trombone by Three, Bennie Green
- 1952 In Paris, Dizzy Gillespie
- 1952 Modern Jazz Trombone Series Vol. 2, J.J. Johnson
- 1956 Jazz Spectacular, Buck Clayton
- 1956 Trombone by Three, Bennie Green/J.J. Johnson/Kai Winding
- 2001 1946–1950, Hot Lips Page
- 2001 Manteca, Dizzy Gillespie
- 2002 Bebop Professor, Dizzy Gillespie
- 2002 Go Ahead and Blow, Bennie Green
- 2003 1944–1950: It's Magic, Sarah Vaughan
- 2005 Memories of You, Illinois Jacquet
- Ratliff, Ben (November 16, 1997), "Big Nick Nicholas, 75, Singer And Jazz-Band Saxophonist", The New York Times, Obituaries, retrieved January 5, 2008
- Thedeadrockstarsclub.com - accessed November 9, 2011
- "Big Nick Nicholas | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 January 2017.