Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

276

Zoot Sims: "Live" In Philly

Douglas Payne By

Sign in to view read count
Tenor saxophonist Zoot Sims (1925-85) is more often heard about than heard. He came out of the big bands of Benny Goodman, Stan Kenton and, later, Gerry Mulligan. But he garnered real attention in the late forties as part of Woody Herman's "Four Brothers" band, which also included Stan Getz. When Sims pursued a career of his own, he was often heard in the company of fellow tenor player Al Cohn (their 32Jazz disc, Body and Soul, is definitive) or in quartets of his own. Sims' warm tenor sound was perfect for the standards and ballads he tended toward. But his tone and style were so similar to Getz, that the latter's fame probably helped contribute to Sims' obscurity. Regardless, Sims recorded and performed frequently during the four decades leading up to his death.

"Live" in Philly is a record of one those performances, captured somewhere toward the end of Sims' career. It's warm, comfortable date, played by a warm, cohesive group in a warm and welcoming club atmosphere. This never-before released 50-minute set catches the tenor (and, on "I Don't Stand," soprano) man at his prime, performing standards and three Ellington favorites with regular pianist Benny Aronov, bassist Major Holley and drummer Mickey Roker. It's clear these musicians know each other and the musical ground they cover inside and out. Bassist Holley (who died in 1990) is prominently featured throughout (especially on "Do Nothing" and "Polka Dots") and greatly enhances the proceedings with his own Slam Stewart-like personality. Zoot seems less in charge of things and more like a happy camper along for the ride. But his playing is never less than worthy (especially on Ellington's "Mellotone") and does not betray a man at the end of his road.

This exceptionally well-recorded set (presumably recorded for Muse Records in the early eighties) isn't going to change the world or anybody's mind about anything. But it's a great way to hear a great player playing what he loved, the way he liked to play it and where he loved to play it most.

Tracks:That Old Devil Called Love; Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me; Polka Dots and Moonbeams; I Don't Stand A Ghost of A Chance With You; In A Mellow Tone; I've Got It Bad And That Ain't Good; Theme.

Personnel: Zoot Sims: tenor and soprano saxophone; Major Holley: bass; Benny Aronov: piano; Mickey Roker: drums.

Title: "Live" In Philly | Year Released: 1998 | Record Label: 32 Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Getting Into Jazz
Album Reviews
Reassessing
Album Reviews
Extended Analysis
Album Reviews
Read more articles

Related Articles

Read LE10 18-05 Album Reviews
LE10 18-05
By Karl Ackermann
May 20, 2019
Read Remembering Miles Album Reviews
Remembering Miles
By Dan McClenaghan
May 20, 2019
Read Merry Peers Album Reviews
Merry Peers
By Bruce Lindsay
May 20, 2019
Read Music! Music! Music! Album Reviews
Music! Music! Music!
By Doug Collette
May 20, 2019
Read Sheer Reckless Abandon Album Reviews
Sheer Reckless Abandon
By John Kelman
May 19, 2019
Read Gratitude: Stage Door Live @ the Z Album Reviews
Gratitude: Stage Door Live @ the Z
By Jack Bowers
May 19, 2019
Read To My Brothers Album Reviews
To My Brothers
By Victor L. Schermer
May 19, 2019