Clarinetist/arranger Phil Nimmons led one of the most important jazz groups in Canada during 1953-1977, which by 1958 was known as Nimmons ‘n’ Nine. This two-CD set contains previously unreleased material recorded as radio transcriptions and/or broadcasts during 1959-1964, with 16 of the 21 selections being from 1963-1964. The leader’s arrangements and the sound of the ten-piece group in general are reminiscent of Gerry Mulligan’s Concert Jazz Band, with cool tones and restrained solos that are full of inner heat. The pianoless group is a bit unusual in that it includes Vic Centro on accordion, who takes occasional solos and adds to the fullness of the ensembles. Nimmons wrote all but three of the selections, contributed all of the arrangements, and took some solos. Best known among the sidemen are guitarist Ed Bickert (who is fairly well featured) and tenor saxophonist Rick Wilkins; the latter is on four numbers. Bickert and Wilkins would become members in the future of Rob McConnell & the Boss Brass. Other key soloists include altoist Jerry Toth, tenor saxophonist Roy Smith, trombonist Butch Watanabe, and trumpeter Erich Traugott. Nimmons’ band sometimes sounds like an orchestra, while retaining the looseness of a combo. This two-fer is highly recommended, featuring some of Phil Nimmons’ very best work from the period.

CD 1

1. I Love to Play

2. One Long Song

3. Blues for Someone Else

4. Exactly Like Jerry Smith

5. Squits

6. Twooch

7. Not Soon Enough

8. Bass-ically Yours

9. One For Mr.’B’

10. Sneaky

CD 2

1. Peaches and Brandy

2. Dig

3. Goodbye

4. One ‘O’ Nine

5. The Getaway

6. Too Late now

7. I Told You So

8. Sku-ba-doo

9. Lush Life

10. Back on the Bus

11. Kicks