Zoot Sims - soprano and tenor sax
Noel Kelehan - piano
Jimmy McKay - bass
John Wadham - drums
01 Softly As In A Morning Sunrise
02 I'll Remember April
04 Do Nothing 'Till You Hear From Me / In A Mellow Tone
05 In The Middle Of A Kiss
06 Love For Sale
Recorded at The Kilkenny Arts Festival 1978.
Mastered in 2007 at Blue Noise Studio, Hamburg.
One of the most innovative, lyrical and swinging jazz musicians of any time was none other than John Haley ”Zoot” Sims (1925-1985). The American jazz tenor saxophonist and soprano saxophonist was jazz and his attitude, demeanor and style were jazz you could dance to, close your eyes to or just tap your feet to. He was one hell of an original.
In every respect when we lost Zoot we truly lost an original jazz icon. Someone that won't be easily replaced by the clean cut crop of technical wizards coming out of jazz universities by the barrel loads today.
Zoot, coming off of the Lester Young branch soon came into his own with a wonderful identifiable sound that didn't take a classically trained ear to quickly identify. On a Gershwin lyric he had the poise and respect for that line with his tenor or soprano sax as much as Frank Sinatra would using his voice. If it was time to swing hard, Zoot did it easily without having to push any envelope to prove something. He just did it and it went down.
During his career Zoot played with renowned bands, including Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Stan Kenton, and Buddy Rich. Sims was also one of Woody Herman's "Four Brothers", and he was known among his peers as one of the strongest swingers in the field. He frequently led his own combos and sometimes toured with his friend Gerry Mulligan's sextet, and later with Mulligan's Concert Jazz Band.
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". That group was a favorite at the New York club "The Half Note." Always fond of the higher register of the tenor sax, Zoot also liked to play alto and late in his career added the soprano saxophone to his performances, while recording a series of albums for the Pablo Records label of impressario Norman Granz.
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 sax-playing Muppet.