Row: Zoot Sims - Warm Tenor (Pablo)


Sign in to view read count
Age is an unavoidable agent of decline for many musicians. Not so with saxophonist Zoot Sims. Advancing years only added to his artistry, making what was already great even greater. His Pablo period arguably garners less notice than the earlier stages of his career as a member of Woody Herman's Herd and pianoless Gerry Mulligan ensembles large and larger. But by my reckoning it's every bit as good, if not better. This set and its predecessor, If I'm Lucky, are the picks of that stellar run, not to mention lasting paragons of tenor-plus-rhythm jazz of any era. And what a rhythm section it is with the Encyclopedia Brown of standards Jimmy Rowles occupying the piano stool. Bassist George Mraz forgoes the corpulent amplification that was standard issue on Pablo sets of Seventies, opting instead for an acoustic elasticity. Drummer Mousey Alexander personifies his sobriquet, inserting scuttling sprightly rhythms, mainly on brushes, and clinking away on the downbeat via a slightly squeaky hi-hat. Zoot is all velvet voicing and limber phrasings on an inspired clutch of Rowles-tailored tunes starting with a cigarettes-and-cognac rendering of “Dream Dancing". Sims and Mraz take “Blues for Louise" sans the other sidemen, the bassist's strutting line setting up a pliant pillar for the tenorist's serpentine improvisations to wind around. Rowles and Alexander get congenial revenge on “Comes Love" virtually stealing the show through their shared rhythmic antics. It's a cliched encomium without question, but this session really, truly does belong in every jazz collection.

Continue Reading...

This story appears courtesy of Master of a Small House.
Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved.


Jazz News

All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.