Sal Nistico

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Salvatore Nistico (2 April 1941, Syracuse, New York state – 3 March 1991, Berne, Switzerland) was an American jazz tenor saxophonist.

Associated for many years with Woody Herman's Herd,[1] Nistico played in the 1962-65 group, considered one of the Herman's best lineups,[2] alongside Phil Wilson, Bill Chase, Nat Pierce and Jake Hanna.

He started playing alto sax, switching to tenor in 1956, starting out on a Buescher before switching to a Conn 10M tenor saxophone,[3] and briefly played baritone sax. From 1959 to 1961, Nistico played with Chuck Mangione's Gap Brothers band.[4]

In 1965, he joined Count Basie but returned on many occasions to play with Herman. Around that time he was also a member of Dusko Goykovich's sextet, together with other musicians associated with the Herd such as Carl Fontana, Nat Pierce, and Michael Moore. He also played with Nat Adderley, Don Ellis, Stan Tracey, Chuck Mangione and Buddy Rich.

Nistico's solo work contrasts his big band work. His solo work is more oriented towards bebop, as heard on the Heavyweights recording on Riverside Records..


  • 1960: The Mangione Brothers Sextet: The Jazz Brothers- Chuck Mangione (trumpet); Gap Mangione (piano); and others. (Riverside Records)
  • 1961: Hey Baby! - The Jazz Brothers (Riverside Records)
  • 1961: Spring Fever - The Jazz Brothers (Riverside Records)
  • 1961: Heavyweights -Nat Adderley (cornet); Barry Harris (piano); Sam Jones (bass); Walter Perkins (drums).
  • 1962: Comin' On Up - Sal Amico (trumpet); Barry Harris (piano); Bob Cranshaw (bass); Vinnie Ruggiero (drums).
  • (Released 1993): Woody Herman Presents: The Four Others Al Cohn (tenor sax); Bill Perkins (tenor sax); Flip Phillips (alto sax)
  • 1969: Woody Herman – Light My Fire Tenor sax solos on 'Hush' and 'Keep on Keepin on' (Cadet Records)
  • 1974: "Very Live At Buddy's Place" Sonny Fortune: (alto sax, flute); Kenny Barron (piano); Mike Abene (piano on track z); Jack Wilkins (guitar); Anthony Jackson (electric bass); Buddy Rich (drums); Jimmy Maeulen (conga)
  • 1974: "Transition" Buddy Rich & Lionel Hampton (Groove Merchant Records). (on "E.G." and "Fum")
  • 1978: East of Isar - The Sal Nistico-Benny Bailey Quintet
  • 1978: Neo Nistico - Ted Curson (Trumpet) - Nick Brignola (Baritone Sax) - Ronnie Mathews (Piano) - Sam Jones (Bass) - Roy Haynes (Drumset). Bee Hive Records SH7006.*
  • 1984: "Live at Buffalo" - Chet Baker (trumpet, vocals), Sal Nistico (Tenor Sax), Lorne Lofsky (guitar), Art Frank (drums), Chriss Connors (bass)
  • 1988: Empty Room- Rita Marcotulli (piano) Marco Fratini (bass) Roberto Gatto (drums)

With Woody Herman

With Pony Poindexter


  1. ^ Scott Yanow at allmusic
  2. ^ "Critics' Choices" New York Times
  3. ^ Jazz Professional article featuring interview between Nistico and Tubby Hayes
  4. ^ Davis, John S. (2012). Historical Dictionary of Jazz. Scarecrow Press. p. 264. ISBN 978-0810867574.