Born in Washington, D.C., in 1930, Nimitz began playing clarinet at an early age and alto saxophone at 14. He was still a teenager when he began playing professional gigs at Howard Theatre in Washington, and with such territory bands as those led by Bob Astor, Johnny Bothwell, and Daryl Harpa. He soon fell in love with the baritone saxophone. In his own words: "It sounded so warm and nice and dark and rich [...] The bottom notes are the best notes in the whole orchestra, because if you don't have a good bottom, nothing really works."
He bought his first baritone saxophone at the age of 20 and three years later was playing baritone in Woody Herman's band (October 1953 to September 1955), following a few months with Stan Kenton (1955-1956). He was a regular in the house band at the Savoy and then spent an additional year with Kenton (1958-1959).
On the advice of colleagues in Kenton's...Read more