Sal Nistico Quintet – Comin’ on Up (Full ALbum)

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When Sal Nistico‘s name is mentioned, jazz fans tend to think of the tenor saxophonist as a sideman more than a leader. Nistico is best known for his associations with big-band leaders — primarily Woody Herman but also Count Basie. However, Nistico also recorded as a leader here and there, although his catalog isn’t nearly as large as it should be. Produced by Orrin Keepnews in 1962, Comin’ on Up was Nistico’s second album as a leader. Unlike some of the modal and avant-garde jazz that was coming out in the early ’60s, this Riverside LP doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel. But it’s a solid hard bop outing, and the tenor man is well served by a lineup that includes trumpeter Sal Amico, pianist Barry Harris, bassist Bob Cranshaw (best known for his association with Sonny Rollins), and drummer Vinnie Ruggiero. Nistico is in good form on Charlie Parker’s “Cheryl” and Miles Davis’ “Down”; he also fares well on swinging originals that include “Samicotico” and the record’s title track. Meanwhile, the standard “Easy Living is a pleasing example of Nistico’s ballad playing. Unfortunately, most of the albums that he recorded as a leader have gone out of print over the years — it’s bad enough that Nistico didn’t record enough albums of his own, and making matters even worse is the fact that those few and far between albums became difficult to find. Now for the good news: In 2002, Comin’ on Up was reissued on CD. That year, Fantasy reissued Comin’ on Up and 1961’s Heavyweights (Nistico’s first album as a leader) back to back on a 75-minute Milestone CD (minus “Just Friends” from Heavyweights). One can lament the fact that Nistico the leader didn’t enjoy as much attention as Nistico the sideman, but that doesn’t make Comin’ on Up any less enjoyable (AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson,

Track listing:

A1 Cheryl (Charlie Parker) 00:05
A2 Ariscene (Paul Fontaine) 04:55
A3 By Myself (Howard Dietz / Arthur Schwartz) 10:47
A4 Samicotico (Sal Nistico) 16:43

B1 Comin’ On Up (Sal Nistico) 21:09
B2 Easy Living (Ralph Rainger / Leo Robin) 26:32
B3 Down (Miles Davis) 33:18


Bob Cranshaw – bass
Vinnie Ruggiero – drums
Barry Harris – piano
Sal Nistico – tenor saxophone
Sal Amico – trumpet


Recorded at Plaza Sound Studios ,NYC
October 17, 1962

Riverside Records RM 457
Vinyl, LP, Album, Mono
US 1962