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Zoot Sims

John Haley "Zoot" Sims was born in Inglewood, California. Growing up in a vaudeville family, Sims learned to play both drums and clarinet at an early age. His father was a vaudeville hoofer, and Sims prided himself on remembering many of the steps his father taught him. Following in the footsteps of Lester Young, Sims developed into an innovative tenor saxophonist. Throughout his career, he played with renowned bands, including Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Stan Kenton, and Buddy Rich. Sims was also one of Woody Herman's "Four Brothers", and he was known among his peers as one of the strongest swingers in the field. Sims frequently led his own combos and sometimes toured with his friend Gerry Mulligan's sextet, and later with Mulligan's Concert Jazz Band. Sims had a long, successful partnership as co-leader of a quintet with Al Cohn, which recorded under the name "Al and Zoot". That group was a favorite at the New York club "The Half Note." Late in his career, Sims added the soprano saxophone to his performances. Sims acquired the nickname "Zoot" early in his career while he was in the Kenny Baker band in California. The name was later appropriated for a sax-playing Muppet. Zoot Sims died in New York on March 23, 1985.


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15
Extended Analysis

Lennie Tristano Personal Recordings, 1946-1970

Read "Lennie Tristano Personal Recordings, 1946-1970" reviewed by Peter Rubie


They called it the Cool School, but what's in a name?In this case, quite a lot as it happens. The Cool School included musicians like Chet Baker, John Lewis and the Modern Jazz Quartet, and Dave Brubeck. Under the guidance of arranger and composer Gil Evans, it established itself in an unquestionable way with the release of Miles Davis' album Birth of the Cool (Capitol Records) in 1957, though the music had actually been recorded some eight or ...

4
Album Review

Stan Kenton and His Orchestra: In a Lighter Vein

Read "In a Lighter Vein" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Stan Kenton was a man of many moods, as was his intrepid and popular orchestra, which endured until his passing in August 1979 and whose renown is kept alive even today by the Stan Kenton Legacy Orchestra. Kenton dons his carefree hat on In a Lighter Vein, an assortment of straight-ahead themes from the orchestra's jazz library, preserved in five concert performances from 1953-55 beneath the umbrella of NBC radio's All Star Parade of Bands. Original compositions ...

10
Getting Into Jazz

Suddenly It's Spring

Read "Suddenly It's Spring" reviewed by Mark Barnett


Getting Started If you're new to jazz, go to our Getting Into Jazz primer for some hints on how to listen. CD capsule Beautiful yet largely forgotten ballads unearthed and given a stunning jazz make-over by tenor saxophonist Zoot Sims and pianist Jimmy Rowles. Tag this one as buried treasure. Background For more about Sims and Rowles, go to the If I'm Lucky in the “Getting Into Jazz" series.

11
Getting Into Jazz

If I'm Lucky

Read "If I'm Lucky" reviewed by Mark Barnett


Getting Started If you're new to jazz, go to our Getting Into Jazz primer for some hints on how to listen. CD Capsule Gorgeous improvisations on some beautiful yet rarely played songs by tenor saxophonist Zoot Sims and pianist Jimmy Rowles. Background Zoot Sims was one of several tenor saxophonists who played in the spare, “cool" style originated by the legendary Lester Young. This meant a smooth, breathy tone without ...

2
Album Review

Zoot Sims: Compatibility

Read "Compatibility" reviewed by Maurizio Zerbo


Nella variegata carriera di Zoot Sims, questo CD da tempo introvabile occupa uno spazio artisticamente non trascurabile anche se misconosciuto. Ha fatto bene la Delmark a ristampare, con tutte le sue alternative takes, questa seduta di registrazione del 1955,che lo vede impegnato al fianco del trombettista Hal Daniels. Quest'ultimo compone ed arrangia la gran parte dei brani in scaletta, rivelando una penna ricca di inventiva e swing. Le due formazioni di ampio respiro assecondano al meglio i ...

8
Reassessing

Zoot Sims And The Gershwin Brothers

Read "Zoot Sims And The Gershwin Brothers" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey


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. ...

365
Album Review

Zoot Sims: With Bucky Pizzarelli

Read "With Bucky Pizzarelli" reviewed by Andrew Velez


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 ...

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Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Zoot Sims

Jazz Musician of the Day: Zoot Sims

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Zoot Sims' birthday today!

John Haley “Zoot" Sims was born in Inglewood, California. Growing up in a vaudeville family, Sims learned to play both drums and clarinet at an early age. His father was a vaudeville hoofer, and Sims prided himself on remembering many of the steps his father taught him. Following in the footsteps of Lester Young, Sims developed into an innovative tenor saxophonist. Throughout his career, he played with renowned bands, including Benny ...

1

Video / DVD

Backgrounder: Zoot Sims Plays Bossa Nova

Backgrounder: Zoot Sims Plays Bossa Nova

Source: JazzWax by Marc Myers

Tenor saxophonist Zoot Sims recorded two bossa nova albums for the Colpix label—New Beat Bossa Nova in August 1962 and New Beat Bossa Nova Vol. 2 in November of that year. They were nearly every bit as swinging as Stan Getz's Jazz Samba album recorded in February '62, just not as widely distributed and without the marketing and radio muscle of Verve. Here are both Zoot Sims albums without ads. Put it on and enjoy while you work, answer emails ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Zoot Sims

Jazz Musician of the Day: Zoot Sims

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Zoot Sims' birthday today!

John Haley “Zoot" Sims was born in Inglewood, California. Growing up in a vaudeville family, Sims learned to play both drums and clarinet at an early age. His father was a vaudeville hoofer, and Sims prided himself on remembering many of the steps his father taught him. Following in the footsteps of Lester Young, Sims developed into an innovative tenor saxophonist. Throughout his career, he played with renowned bands, including Benny ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Zoot Sims

Jazz Musician of the Day: Zoot Sims

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Zoot Sims' birthday today!

John Haley “Zoot" Sims was born in Inglewood, California. Growing up in a vaudeville family, Sims learned to play both drums and clarinet at an early age. His father was a vaudeville hoofer, and Sims prided himself on remembering many of the steps his father taught him. Following in the footsteps of Lester Young, Sims developed into an innovative tenor saxophonist. Throughout his career, he played with renowned bands, including Benny ...

Video / DVD

Zoot Sims: Sweden, 1984

Zoot Sims: Sweden, 1984

Source: JazzWax by Marc Myers

In November 1984, four months before tenor saxophonist Zoot Sims died at age 60, he performed at the library in the Sonet Records building in Lidingö, Sweden. Sims was backed by bassist Red Mitchell and guitarist Rune Gustafsson. They performed for nearly an hour, playing In a Sentimental Mood, Gone With the Wind, Castle Blues, Sweet Lorraine, 'Tis Autumn and Autumn Leaves. Zoot also was interviewed by Smith, and the results were used in between takes. Here's Zoot Sims in ...

Video / DVD

A Story About Zoot And Hawk

A Story About Zoot And Hawk

Source: Rifftides by Doug Ramsey

Here’s an item purloined (with his permission) from bassist Bill Crow’s column “The Band Room” in Allegro, the publication of New York Local 802 of the American Federation Of Musicians. Zoot Sims was one of the many tenor saxophonists who took Lester Young’s style as a starting point for their own development. But Zoot also idolized Coleman Hawkins. He once told me, “Hawk never played a wrong note in his life.” Zoot had a classic Volvo that he was very ...

1

Video / DVD

Video: Zoot Sims at Donte's

Video: Zoot Sims at Donte's

Source: JazzWax by Marc Myers


Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Zoot Sims

Jazz Musician of the Day: Zoot Sims

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Zoot Sims' birthday today!

John Haley “Zoot" Sims was born in Inglewood, California. Growing up in a vaudeville family, Sims learned to play both drums and clarinet at an early age. His father was a vaudeville hoofer, and Sims prided himself on remembering many of the steps his father taught him. Following in the footsteps of Lester Young, Sims developed into an innovative tenor saxophonist. Throughout his career, he played with renowned bands... Read more. ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Zoot Sims

Jazz Musician of the Day: Zoot Sims

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Zoot Sims' birthday today!

John Haley “Zoot" Sims was born in Inglewood, California. Growing up in a vaudeville family, Sims learned to play both drums and clarinet at an early age. His father was a vaudeville hoofer, and Sims prided himself on remembering many of the steps his father taught him. Following in the footsteps of Lester Young, Sims developed into an innovative tenor saxophonist. Throughout his career, he played with renowned bands... Read more. ...

1

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Zoot Sims

Jazz Musician of the Day: Zoot Sims

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Zoot Sims' birthday today!

John Haley “Zoot" Sims was born in Inglewood, California. Growing up in a vaudeville family, Sims learned to play both drums and clarinet at an early age. His father was a vaudeville hoofer, and Sims prided himself on remembering many of the steps his father taught him. Following in the footsteps of Lester Young, Sims developed into an innovative tenor saxophonist. Throughout his career, he played with renowned bands... Read more. ...

David Larsen
saxophone, baritone
Len Pierro
saxophone
Wolfram Goebel
saxophone, tenor

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