FROM MY OWN COLLECTION ... SAMMY FOR FRIENDS

FROM MY OWN COLLECTION ... SAMMY FOR FRIENDS

Sammy For Friends #5 - “It’s My Turn”- Bridging the Generational Gap with Music

When I started writing music for young people, I was hoping maybe someday some kid in Iowa or some other place playing in a band says “Ooh! This is good!”.

In 2015, I travelled to Miami to do a master class followed by a concert with the New World School of the Arts. diane estelle captured a magical moment of a young musician with a bright future, Joseph Miller, performing my arrangement of “It’s My Turn”. Enjoy this short preview from Shadow Man, the documentary film.

FROM MY OWN COLLECTION ... SAMMY FOR FRIENDS

FROM MY OWN COLLECTION ... SAMMY FOR FRIENDS

Sammy For Friends #5 - "It's My Turn"

"It's My Turn" is a beautiful 1980 song used as the theme to the film of the same name. The song was written for the very talented Diana Ross, by Carole Bayer Sager (lyrics) and Michael Masser (music), who also was the producer of the film.  The tune repeats itself in different keys so the alto-sax seemed to fit perfectly.  It is a beautiful theme and I remember being so happy to write that arrangement.

I received a call from Pat Williams, who is credited for the music on the film. Pat asked me to arrange the title song for an after-the-movie recording - sound track album.  Which brings me to a very important lesson for all young arrangers & composers out there.  Many times, over my career I have what we call “ghost-written”.  diane estelle once asked me the question: “why would you allow someone else to take credit for your work?”  Here’s my answer - “it was the difference between staying home and not working or putting food on the table and a roof over my family!”  It happened many times to many of us back then.  But I always knew who did the work and over the years, people began to hear my own signature in the music - that my name was on it or not!  And guess what, I am still here telling you that story.  Enjoy!

FROM MY OWN COLLECTION ... SAMMY FOR FRIENDS

FROM MY OWN COLLECTION ... SAMMY FOR FRIENDS

SAMMY’S FOR FRIEND #4 - COOL JOE, MEAN JOE - (KILLER JOE) 

This is very different for me but then again, it brings me back to my years with The Count….Q. gave me a rhythm track to work with and asked me to arrange the orchestra for this tune on “Q’s Jook Joint.”   So in a way, I can’t really take credit for the arrangement but then again it is my arrangement. When you hear these saxophones, well that’s my arrangement. I write what I love and hear - then great musicians perform and elevate the arranger’s notes.  WOO, are they good!  Not to discount the sound recording, the engineering is superb! My all time favorite engineer Tommy Vicari along with Bruce Sweden, Al Schmitt & Francis Buckley took home the Grammy in 1996 for “Best Engineered Album”, non-classical. 

One can talk all they want about music but music is meant to be listened to and felt in your soul.

Q said it best in the liner notes: “This is as good as it gets - hot soloists, burnin’ big band and rompin’ rhythm section.”  Enjoy!

FROM MY OWN COLLECTION ... SAMMY FOR FRIENDS

FROM MY OWN COLLECTION ... SAMMY FOR FRIENDS

FRIENDS: Recently, I put together a compilation of 15 of my favorite arrangements in my library, as well as 3 original composition. I called it SAMMY FOR FRIENDS. Over the next few months, I will share then with you with a little story behind each one.

#3 - IF I SHOULD LOSE YOU - Frank Sinatra. In the mid 80’s, producer Quincy Jones called me to arrange some songs for the unparralled Frank Sinatra, for his upcoming album “L.A. IS MY LADY”.   I ended up arranging five of the tunes on this album.  Needless to say, I was beyond thrilled! I liked all of the tunes, but I particularly like my arrangement of IF I SHOULD LOSE YOU - it does not get much better then Frank Sinatra!  


FROM MY OWN COLLECTION ... SAMMY FOR FRIENDS

FROM MY OWN COLLECTION ... SAMMY FOR FRIENDS

FRIENDS: Recently, I put together a compilation of 15 of my favorite arrangements in my library, as well as 3 original composition. I called it SAMMY FOR FRIENDS. Over the next few months, I will share then with you with a little story behind each one. Here we go!

#2 - THE ELECTRIC HORSEMAN (theme) - I just happened to see this movie again recently of the same title.  The Electric Horseman is a 1979 American western adventure-romance film starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda and directed by Sydney Pollack.  I got a call from the studio and they sent me this beautiful tune that Dave Grusin had written for the movie. By the way, Dave Grusin happens to be one of my favorite writer!  They asked me to do it for a soundtrack album.  I did my own arrangement and very different then the one used in the movie.    Enjoy.

The Electric Horseman-ASMAC_Page_01.jpg

FROM MY OWN COLLECTION ... SAMMY FOR FRIENDS

FROM MY OWN COLLECTION ... SAMMY FOR FRIENDS

Sammy wt Michael Bublé @ Recording Session

Sammy wt Michael Bublé @ Recording Session

FRIENDS: Recently, I put together a compilation of 15 of my favorite arrangements in my library, as well as 3 original composition. I called it SAMMY FOR FRIENDS. Over the next month, I will share then with you with a little story behind each one. Here we go!

#1 - MACK THE KNIFE - I arranged this tune for Michael Bublé - michaelbuble.info - my arrangement was released as a separate track. As I just finished conducting the last note, Michael Bublé ran to me and gave me a hug and a kiss on the podium! How I love this arrangement. It swings so easily! I place it as my #1 favorite.

Ya Gotta Try

Ya Gotta Try

Buddy Rich plays Sammy Nestico’s “Ya Gotta Try” on Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, 1979.

OFF TO A BETTER HOME

OFF TO A BETTER HOME

In the Library of Congress, the Sammy Nestico Archive sits beside the archives of Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Gerry Mulligan and George and Ira Gershwin -- as it should be. Sammy Nestico and his music are a national treasure.

                                                                                --Loras Schissel, Library of Congress

Shirley

Shirley

I wrote this as a dedication to my wonderful wife Shirley, of course. It's a simple, swinging melody, based on the sound of her name.

Memories of You

Memories of You

In 1955, I wrote an arrangement of MEMORIES OF YOU for strings and trombone while in The U. S. Air Force Orchestra.