by Zoot SimsZoot Sims


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This Acrobat set pairs two of Zoot Sims' more lauded albums from the middle of the 1950s, recorded less than a month apart from one another and featuring the rhythm section of pianist Johnny Williams, bassist Knobby Totah, and drummer Gus Johnson. The first eight tracks here come from Zoot, cut on October 12, 1956, which was originally released as Argo 608. Sims plays tenor throughout, and the band is seamless in its sense of swing and groove. Check the sprint of "9:20 Special," the easy lope of "That Old Feeling," and the ballad "The Man I Love," taken at a simmering midtempo. The second date here, cut over the first two days in November, was released as Zoot Sims Plays Alto, Tenor and Baritone (ABC-Paramount 155) and uses the "magic" of overdubbing. But by then, it had been done, and successfully if controversially -- Lennie Tristano did it in 1955 and even used tape manipulation to speed up or slow things down. Though there is some bop here, the main feel is cool. Sims plays all three horns with the same verve, imagination, and tough swing. What's so compelling about these tunes -- particularly the ornate "Blinuet," the fingerpopping swagger in "Zonkin'," and the gorgeous use of harmony in "Major-Major" -- is that Sims' tone on all three instruments is not only signature, but uncommon. His is a sound not much heard anymore, yet it is so lovely, as full of emotion as it is technique, one has to wonder why. This band plays with great instinctive and disciplined interplay, and both albums were well reviewed upon appearance. The sound on this two-fer is very good, if not excellent. Acrobat is a British label, and is not bound by American copyright laws -- in England, it expires after 50 years. This means, of course, that the man's estate doesn't see a dime from this release.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/26/2010
Label: Ais
UPC: 8436028691821
catalogNumber: 2869182
Rank: 99570

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Zoot Sims   Primary Artist,Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,Vocals
Gus Johnson   Drums
Knobby Totah   Bass
Johnny Williams   Piano

Technical Credits

George Gershwin   Composer
Dizzy Gillespie   Composer
Oscar Pettiford   Composer
George Handy   Composer
Richard Rodgers   Composer
Ira Gershwin   Composer
Gus Johnson   Composer
Zoot Sims   Composer
Jack Tracy   Original Liner Notes
Earle Warren   Composer
Flo Handy   Composer
Arnold Marcus   Liner Notes
Herbert J. Morrison   Original Liner Notes

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