Ted Nash (saxophonist, born 1922)

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For other people with the same name, see Ted Nash.

Theodore Malcolm "Ted" Nash (October 31, 1922 - May 12, 2011[1]) was a noted jazz and studio musician who played saxophone, flute and clarinet and was a first-call session musician in the Hollywood recording studios for many years.[2] He was the featured alto sax soloist on almost all of Henry Mancini's movie and television soundtrack projects beginning in the late 1950s.

Early Life and Career[edit]

Ted was born in the Boston suburb of Somerville, Massachusetts. His original goal was to become a classical flutist but he began playing saxophone in his early teens. His professional career began when he went on the road with a succession of dance bands finally landing the solo tenor chair with the Les Brown band in 1944 where he rapidly made a name for himself. His distinctive tenor solos are the high points of many of the old Les Brown records.[3]

Ted's playing was notable for his mastery of the extreme altissimo register of the saxophone. He was the author of "Ted Nash's Studies in High Harmonics for Tenor and Alto Saxophone" first published in 1946 and still in print.[4]

The Hollywood Studios[edit]

In the late 1940s, after getting married, Ted settled in the Los Angeles area and thanks to his versatility quickly became an essential part of the thriving Hollywood movie and television recording industry.[3] In 1956 he recorded with Paul Weston's orchestra the hit album Day By Day, with vocals by his former colleague and close friend, Doris Day.[2]

Ted was featured on the The Music from Peter Gunn soundtrack album performing the bluesy, high-energy alto sax solo on the theme as well as the wistful alto sax solo on the second bridge of "Dreamsville."[5]

Ted's brother, trombonist Dick Nash, is the father of New York based saxophonist Ted Nash who is a member of the "Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra" with Wynton Marsalis.

"The Brothers Go to Mother's", from Peter Gunn was composed by Mancini as a feature for Ted and Dick.


As leader[edit]

  • The Brothers Nash – Liberty 6011 (1955) (also Fresh Sound CD 2229)
  • Star Eyes, The Artistry of Ted Nash – Columbia CL 989 (1956)
  • Peter Gunn – Crown Records CLP 5101 (1959) (also Fresh Sound CD 2009)

As sideman[edit]

With Georgie Auld

With Henry Mancini

  • The Music from Peter Gunn – RCA Victor LPM-1956, (1959)
  • More Music from Peter Gunn – RCA Victor LPM-2040 (1959)
  • The Mancini Touch – RCA Victor LPM-2101 (1960)
  • The Blues and the Beat – RCA Victor LPM-2147 (1960)
  • Music from Mr. Lucky – RCA Victor LPM-2198 (1960)
  • Combo! – RCA Victor LPM-2258 (1961)
  • Breakfast at Tiffany's – RCA Victor LPM-2362 (1961)
  • Hatari! – RCA Victor LPM-2559 (1962)
  • Our Man in Hollywood – RCA Victor LPM-2604 (1963)
  • Uniquely Mancini – RCA Victor LPM-2692 (1963)
  • Mancini '67 – RCA Victor LPM-3694 (1967)

With Elmer Bernstein

With Pete Rugolo

With Lalo Schifrin


  1. ^ Nash, Ted. "Ted Nash". tributes.com. Retrieved 20 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Liner notes to Star Eyes, The Artistry of Ted Nash, Columbia Records CL 989
  3. ^ a b Liner notes to The Brothers Nash, Liberty Records LJH 6022
  4. ^ Foreword to "Ted Nash's Studies in High Harmonics" Leeds Music Corporation, 1946
  5. ^ Liner notes to The Music from Peter Gunn, RCA LPM-1958