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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 prisoners. "There Will Never Be another You" as much as any track exemplifies the excitement and energy of each performance. The two tear this standard apart and then put it back together again the way they found it. This wasn't billed as a battle of the tenors. But the competition is obvious and lasts right up to the last few bars when each vies for the last word. It was a tie. A bop hymn, "Groovin' High" is as much Peterson's as the tenors'. He plays dissonant bop chords underneath, takes a long solo and then turns things over to Louis Bellson for a rapid fire, breathtaking drum exhibition which drove the audience wild. Drum solos can be boring, but not this one as every piece of Bellson's equipment brought into play.
"(I Don't Stand) a Ghost of a Chance" quiets matters down as the tenors show that they are equally at home with a romantic ballad. Davis' Ben Webster breathy expression rules the day, with Niels -Henning Orsted Pedersen's bass laying on hushed undertones to help soften the presentation. Here and throughout all the performance, these two "giants" feed off each other's ideas resulting in an album of inspired improvisional playing.
I was first exposed to jazz through a high school friend who played Keith Jarrett's The Koln Concert for me. Therefore, that was the first jazz record I bought. From Jarrett to Chick to Oscar and Herbie and then came my first hearing of A Love Supreme. I was never the same...
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