Zoot At Ease (2018)

Rodgers, Coslow, Ellington, Jones, Komeda, Romberg

Zoot Sims Quartet

Zoot Sims was famous for epitomizing the swinging musician, never playing an inappropriate phrase, always sounding inspired. His enthusiasm and creativity never wavered and throughout his career he never gave up on what many consider his greatest asset: his incredible sense of swing. "No matter what he played, it was perfectly in time," said saxophonist Harry Allen. "If you were making your own perfect saxophone player up in your head, that's where you'd put the notes. And Sims managed to do that without fail."

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Zoot Sims Quartet

John Haley "Zoot" Sims was an American jazz saxophonist, playing mainly tenor but also alto (and, later, soprano) saxophone. He first gained attention in the "Four Brothers" sax section of Woody Herman's big band, afterward enjoying a long solo career, often in partnership with fellow sax players Gerry Mulligan and Al Cohn, and the trombonist Bob Brookmeyer.

Sims was born in 1925 in Inglewood, California to vaudeville performers Kate Haley and John Sims. His father was a vaudeville hoofer, and Sims prided himself on remembering many of the steps his father taught him. Growing up in a performing family, he learned to play drums and clarinet at an early age. His brother was the trombonist Ray Sims.

Following in the footsteps of Lester Young, Sims developed into an innovative tenor saxophonist. Throughout his career, he played with big bands, starting with those of Kenny Baker and Bobby Sherwood after dropping out of high school after one year. He played with Benny Goodman's band in 1943 and replaced his idol Ben Webster in Sid Catlett's Quartet in 1944.

Sims served as a corporal in the United States Army Air Force from 1944 to 1946, then returned to music in the bands of Artie Shaw, Stan Kenton, and Buddy Rich. He was one of Woody Herman's "Four Brothers". He frequently led his own combos and toured with his friend Gerry Mulligan's sextet, and later with Mulligan's Concert Jazz Band. Sims rejoined Goodman in 1962 for a tour of the Soviet Union.

In the 1950s and '60s, Sims had a long, successful partnership as co-leader of a quintet with Al Cohn, which recorded under the name "Al and Zoot". The group was a favorite at New York City's Half Note Club. Always fond of the higher register of the tenor sax, he also played alto and late in his career added soprano saxophone to his performances, while recording a series of albums for the Pablo Records label of the impresario Norman Granz. He also played on some of Jack Kerouac's recordings.

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 saxophone-playing Muppet on The Muppet Show.

Sims played a 30-second solo on the song "Poetry Man", written by singer Phoebe Snow on her debut eponymous album in 1975. He also played on Laura Nyro's "Lonely Women," on her album "Eli and the Thirteenth Confession."

photo: from album cover 'Zoot Sims Quartet'

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Zoot At Ease (2018)

Rodgers, Coslow, Ellington, Jones, Komeda, Romberg

Zoot Sims Quartet

Analog Recording Equipment: Nagra-T Tape Recorder modified with high-end tube playback electronics, wired with OCC silver cable from the playback head direct to a Nick Doshi tube head preamplifier
Digital Converters: Merging Technologies Horus
Mastering Engineer: Rene Laflamme - Analog to DSD 256 Transfer
Producer: Harry Lim
Recording Engineer: Richard Blakin
Recording location: A&R Recording Studios, New York on May 30, 1973 and August 9, 1973
Recording Software: Pyramix
Recording Type & Bit Rate: Analog

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2XHDJA1133: Zoot At Ease
00:41:25   Select quality & channels above
Tracks.
1.
The New Moon
Romberg
00:04:44   N/A
2.
In the Middle of a Kiss
Coslow
00:05:17   N/A
3.
Rosemary's baby
Komeda
00:06:36   N/A
4.
Beach in the A.M. (Minority)
Jones
00:04:14   N/A
5.
Do Nothing till You Hear from Me
Ellington
00:04:37   N/A
6.
Alabamy Home
Ellington
00:05:54   N/A
7.
Murder at the Vanities - Cocktails for Two
Coslow
00:04:55   N/A
8.
My Funny Valentine
Rodgers
00:05:08   N/A

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