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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.

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 ...

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. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Jack Kerouac with Al Cohn and Zoot Sims: Blues And Haikus

Read "Blues And Haikus" reviewed by Sid Smith

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 ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Zoot Sims and the Gershwin Brothers

Read "Zoot Sims and the Gershwin Brothers" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Zoot Sims with the Joe Castro Trio: Live at Falcon Lair

Read "Live at Falcon Lair" reviewed by Jack Bowers

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Joe Venuti/Zoot Sims: Joe & Zoot & More

Read "Joe & Zoot & More" reviewed by Dave Nathan

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Stan Getz/Bob Brookmeyer, Al Cohn/Zoot Sims: Recorded Fall 1961, You

Read "Recorded Fall 1961, You " reviewed by David Adler

These two early 60s quintet dates are marvelous, a mother lode of timeless horn artistry. They’re both straight reissues — no alternate takes or unreleased tracks of any sort. The first, originally produced by Creed Taylor, pairs Stan Getz and Bob Brookmeyer, with Steve Kuhn, John Neves, and Roy Haynes in the rhythm section. Three of Brookmeyer’s tunes appear (that’s half the program right there), beginning with “Minuet Circa ’61," a beautiful waltz that immediately establishes the rhythmic and timbral ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Zoot Sims & Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis: The Tenor Giants

Read "The Tenor Giants" reviewed by Derek Taylor

In the traits of tone and phrasing tenor icons Zoot and Jaws were hardly doppelgangers. Jaws of the clipped rasp and pinched carving wail and Zoot with the more effusive, easygoing sound- the two together made for instant and compelling contrast in terms of both philosophy and execution. The common ground the pair shared was in the terrain of no-nonsense hard driving swing and a willingness to vigorously pull out the stops when the chance presented itself. Convening under the ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Zoot Sims/Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis: The Tenor Giants with Oscar Peterson

Read "The Tenor Giants with Oscar Peterson" reviewed by Dave Nathan

If nothing else, this album is reaffirmation that Zoot Sims could play any style of music, with any type of jazz artist and play it like he has been doing it forever. At first blush the teaming of Lester Young derived Sims with the hard driving, tough tenor Coleman Hawkins-influenced Eddie “Lockjaw" Davis seems out of place. But here they are in a whirlwind tour of Europe in 1975 accompanied by the Oscar Peterson Trio on which they took no ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Al Cohn & Zoot Sims: Easy As Pie

Read "Easy As Pie" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Once again, Label M mines the vast resources of jazz performances that Baltimore's Left Bank Jazz Society sagaciously recorded, knowing that they were hearing unparalleled music in their midst but not knowing that it would entertain jazz listeners thirty-plus years hence. It seems that the Left Bank group was at its best when it recorded horns, and particularly saxophonists. Even on Easy As Pie, Dave Frishberg's piano lacks clarity due to the on-site instrument's limitations. Unfortunately, the same problem occurred ...