Sammy Nestico has a very long and prestigious music career. He’s best known for his arrangements of the Count Basie Orchestra and tons of work with film/television music. There is even an award named after him! Despite his lengthy career as a Jazz/big band composer and arranger, his first solo album didn’t drop till 1982. The album has a lengthy list of guest musicians, but the only one I recognize is Bud Shank. Most of it is traditional Jazz, with the cut “Shoreline Drive” being the exception. The track sounds more like something off of a CTI release than a big band composer album. The song was famously sampled for Fat Joe‘s intro track to Jealous One’s Envy, “Bronx Tale“.
Joe’s sophomore release Jealous One’s Envy is usually regarded as his best work. “Bronx Tale“, the first song on the album, sets the tone for the rest of the classic LP. Diamond D loops the Nestico track to perfection while KRS-One spits some bars. Ironically, the track sounds more like KRS-One featuring Fat Joe, as it’s mostly him doing the rapping. Diamond didn’t add any drums or chop the sample, but in his defense, it really didn’t need to. Either way, check out the original cut.
Harvey Mandel isn’t the most famous guitarist in the world, but he should be more well-known than he is. Mandel was a solo artist and was also a member of the group Canned Heat. He performed with the group for the legendary rock concert Woodstock. He also recorded 2 songs with The Rolling Stones. He then went on to record solo albums dabbling in rock/blues/jazz fusion. Most diggers recognize him for the drum break on “Baby Batter“. His track “Cristo Redentor” from the album of the same name was used for Pharoahe Monch’s track “The Truth“.
Pharoahe Monch‘s debut album was released at the height of underground Hip-Hop and the Rawkus-era. It spawned the hit “Simon Says” which eventually had to be removed due to a sample clearance dispute with the composer of the Godzilla theme. “The Truth” was produced by legend Diamond D and featured Common and label-mate Talib Kweli. Check out the OG to see how Diamond flipped it.
Diamond D is probably one of the most under-rated/under-appreciated Hip-Hop producers of the golden era. Responsible for D.I.T.C., 2 albums with classic production, and some of the illest breaks and samples ever, the man deserves respect. “Flowin” is a trademark, chill and laid back Diamond cut with a hard drum break and jazzy sample. Check out the intro for “Piktor’s Metamorphosis” by David Sancious (shot out to New Jersey!) to see how Diamond flipped this one.