Update (June 16, 2012): Big Nick Nicholas is playing at the West End here, not at the Tin Palace as I had erroneously written.
Well my little “Body and Soul” blindfold test did not last long. I promised to give you the solution by the end of june, but it did take Bo Scherman less than an hour to figure out that the tenor player in question is Big Nick Nicholas (1922–1997). Congratulations, Bo! I would not have thought that someones comes up with the solution THAT quick.
Big Nick Nicholas was playing this beautiful rendition of “Body and Soul” with his quartet at the West End in N.Y.C. on October 3, 1979.
Big Nick Nicholas at the West End, October 3, 1979.
Photo by Otto Flückiger
It seems that Nicholas was away from the N.Y.C scene for a while. In one of the announcements on Otto’s tape from the West End, Nicholas mentions that he has not been in New York for years. Besides recording two sets of Nicholas’ quartet, Otto also took quite a few photographs (you can click on them to enlarge them) and did not forget to take the promotional flyer for the engagement with him (subtitled “An Infuential Tenor Saxophonist returns To The Big Apple”) on which Phil Schaap tells us more details about Nicholas’ career: