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RGibran
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Zoot Sims

Zoot Sims - "A Summer Thing"

Zoot Sims, tenor sax
Bucky Pizzarelli, guitar
Milt Hinton, bass
Buddy Rich, drums

My first introduction to this artist a few years back, this is an emmensly enjoyable CD and I feel I probably got very lucky finding it in some bargain bin. I love his smooth, warm, affectionate and seemingly effortless melodic mastery. Some googling reveals he played with just about everyone at one time or another and was quite a comical personality as well. The accompaning personnel on this disc ain't too shabby either. Highly recommended.

I would like to pick up another of his solo efforts. Perhaps some Zoot fans could offer some recommendations?

RG

jazzfan
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Re: Zoot Sims

Wow RG,

Seems everyone is testing Jazzfan's knowledge these days. I have to wait until I get home to answer BluesDaddy's Miles Davis question but the Zoot question is just a little bit easier to handle, so I'll give it a shot.

Zoot was one of the famous "Four Brothers" in the great sax lineup in Woody Herman's Second Herd along with Stan Getz, Al Cohn and Jimmy Giuffre (pretty nifty bunch, eh?) back in the late 1940's. He is also well known for the two tenor bands he co-led with Al Cohn on and off through out the years.

As you probably already know, although Zoot is a first class musician and great fun to listen to, his style is not really my cup of tea and as such I don't feel that qualified to make any recommendations other than to say that you should check out some of the dates with Al Cohn, which I know are pretty good.

Anyone else have any favorites?

ohfourohnine
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Re: Zoot Sims

We may be grouchy, but we're diverse in our tastes. Zoot is my cup of tea - big time. My all out favorite recording is an old vinyl which may be a little hard to find. The titile is Nirvana, and Zoot plays with Bucky Pizzarelli, Milt Hinton, and Buddy Rich. He and Buddy swap vocal verses on Gee, Baby, Aint I Good to You and the other nine tunes, are, to Jazzfan's disappointment, also standard ballads. It swings.

A charming and intimate recording reissued as a CD on the Bethlehem label is entitled Down Home. It sounds like a bootleg of a jam session complete with all the verbal asides. The quartet includes Dave McKenna, another of my favorite musicians (who Jazzfan probably would ignore) on piano. The rhythm section includes George Tucker and Donnie Richmond. Sonics not great, but the music is first rate.

Another one I recommend is on a Mobile Fidelity Original Master recording. First cabin sonics on this one. The title is Zoot Sims with the Kenny Drew Trio in Copenhagen. It is a nice live recording - great ballads again, with Kenny Drew, Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen, and Ed Thigpen. Original recording was Live at Jazzhouse Slukefter in Copenhagen in 1978.

Since you liked Summer Thing, I suspect you'll like any or all of these. Have fun.

Ah, the delightful breadth of the jazz genre.

ohfourohnine
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Re: Zoot Sims

You have yourself to blame for getting me started on Zoot Sims. I tend to prefer small groups, so my earlier recommendations featured Zoot that way. If, on the other hand, you're inclined to larger ensembles, and particularly if you like Ellington compositions then try to find an old Pablo Today release from 1980 "Passion Flower - Zoot Sims plays Duke Ellington". Zoot is out front and supported in fine style by a twenty piece ensemble. Benny Carter did the arrangements, and Jimmy Rowles piano is tasty as can be.

Another Pablo from that era entitled "A Celebration of Duke" includes two tunes by Zoot, Jimmy Rowles, Michael Moore (the bass man, not the loudmouth), and John Clay. Zoot plays the soprano on this one. The rest of the cast for the recording includes Clark Terry, Joe Pass, Milt Jackson, Ray Brown, Mickey Roker and Sarah Vaughan. Not a bad crowd.

One that I wish you could hear was a live performance I heard years ago in a little bar in New York which I never would have found without the help of a great cab driver. The dozen or so of us who were there got a couple of hours of what he decided to play all alone - no rhythm section, nothing. It was great - worth the long walk back as the sun came up.

RGibran
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Re: Zoot Sims

Thanks Cheapskate. Who knows what other wonderful music discussions we could have if others would just throw some names out there.

I have sampled some of your ealier suggestions and will look in to these as I try to narrow my next "Zoot" purchase.

With all your enthusiasm for Zoot I suspect you (or any others) may shed some light on another "Warm Moods" sax favorite of mine...Ben Webster? His disc by that title is excellent.

RG

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