Zoot SimsZoot Sims And The Gershwin BrothersOJC1975/2013 The Concord Music Group inaugurated their celebration of the 40th anniversary of Norman Granz's Pablo Records with the releases of John Coltrane: Afro Blue Impressions (Pablo, 1963/2013) and Sarah Vaughan-- Sophisticated Lady: The Duke Ellington Songbook (Pablo,2013). These releases are to be followed by an additional five remasters, the first of which, Zoot Sims And The Gershwin Brothers, is considered here. Recorded in New York City at RCA Studios, June 6, 1975, Norman Granz paired Sims (1925-1985) with a dream rhythm ...read more
This Zoot Sims-Bucky Pizzarelli set of duets is now 33 years old but there's nary a sign of cobwebs here on a session in which the mutual pleasure of these two pros is happily apparent. If it contained only their bossa-flavored take on Michel Legrand's Watch What Happens," it would be well worth the price. As it begins, just a deft sprinkling of Pizzarelli's notes opens a path through which flows a generous outpouring of Sims' shimmering warmth. But before we get to that gem, a breathless joint response to Cole Porter's magnificently obsessive question, What Is This Thing Called ...read more
Jutta Hipp proves one of the more curious tales in a music whose history is full of curiosities: She grew up studying jazz piano and painting in her native Germany, then moved to New York City in late 1955. She played piano in and around the city for about a year, including performances documented on two 1956 live albums released by Blue Note.
Jutta with Zoot was recorded later in '56 and produced by Blue Note founder Alfred Lion with a cast of veteran sidemen including saxophonist Sims, who Hipp had met a few years earlier while Sims ...read more
I discovered jazz and Jack Kerouac at roughly the same time in my teens back in the early 1970s, when his seminal novel On The Road (Viking, 1957) hooked me into the bohemian world of jazz clubs, intense friendships and the never ending highway under wide open skies described in its pages.
It barely mattered that the quick fluid prose in which this hedonistic manifesto was rolled up in didn't always make sense--it was all about feeling something rather than necessarily understanding it. You dig?" wasn't a question as much as a state of mind. That same sensibility ...read more
Zoot Sims Zoot Sims and the Gershwin Brothers Pablo/OJC 1975
The beauty of jazz is there are always older recordings to be discovered and rediscovered. Zoot Sims and the Gershwin Brothers is one of these recordings. Long hailed as one of Sims's finest recordings, it was not until recently that it crossed my path. Everything in print was accurate. The recording is a blissfully successful bit of musical alchemy.
Recorded June 6, 1975, the recording was carefully considered in format, musicians, and repertoire (as opposed to a simple blowing session ...read more
This loose-limbed rendezvous sounds exactly as it was, an impromptu late-night jam session planned on the fly in someone’s apartment—in this case, however, no ordinary apartment but “The Playhouse,” a spacious second-story room above a garage and adjacent to the main house at Falcon Lair, the imposing Beverly Hills estate then owned by tobacco heiress Doris Duke and previously occupied by legendary silent film star Rudolph Valentino. Pianist Joe Castro, who was married to Duke from 1956-64, liked to invite his friends over for unrehearsed get-togethers, and one frequent guest who would blow anytime, day or night, at the drop ...read more
One of the more satisfying experiences in jazz is when some long forgotten (except by a few) gems have been unearthed, dusted off and reissued (or issued for the first time0. This CD seems to be a mixture of two - first time issued and reissued sessions coming from the 1970's. Sims and Venuti collaborated for the Chiaroscuro label in 1975. But the first nine cuts on this set are from a September 27, 1973 recording which has been cleaned and digitally remastered. Venuti was in his seventies and Sims in his fifties when this album was recorded and both ...read more