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Zoot Sims Quartet

Throughout his career, Zoot Sims was famous for epitomizing the swinging musician, never playing an inappropriate phrase. He always sounded inspired, and although his style did not change much after the early 1950s, Zoot's enthusiasm and creativity never wavered.

Zoot's family was involved in vaudeville, and he played drums and clarinet as a youth. His older brother, Ray Sims, developed into a fine trombonist who sounded like Bill Harris. At age 13, Sims switched permanently to the tenor, and his initial inspiration was Lester Young, although he soon developed his own cool-toned sound. Sims was a professional by the age of 15, landing his first important job with Bobby Sherwood's Orchestra, and he joined Benny Goodman's big band for the first time in 1943; he would be one of BG's favorite tenormen for the next 30 years. He recorded with Joe Bushkin in 1944, and even at that early stage, his style was largely set.

After a period in the Army, Sims was with Goodman from 1946-1947. He gained his initial fame as one of Woody Herman's "Four Brothers" during his time with the Second Herd (1947-1949). Zoot had brief stints with Buddy Rich's short-lived big band, Artie Shaw, Goodman (1950), Chubby Jackson, and Elliot Lawrence. He toured and recorded with Stan Kenton (1953) and Gerry Mulligan (1954-1956). Sims was also a star soloist with Mulligan's Concert Jazz Band of the early '60s and visited the Soviet Union with Benny Goodman in 1962. A freelancer throughout most of his career, Sims often led his own combos or co-led bands with his friend Al Cohn; the two tenors had very similar sounds and styles. Zoot started doubling on soprano quite effectively in the '70s. Through the years, he appeared in countless situations, and always seemed to come out ahead. Fortunately, Zoot Sims recorded frequently, leading sessions for Prestige, Metronome, Vogue, Dawn, Storyville, Argo, ABC-Paramount, Riverside, United Artists, Pacific Jazz, Bethlehem, Colpix, Impulse, Groove Merchant, Famous Door, Choice, Sonet, and a wonderful series for Pablo. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi
full bio

Comments

Dynamite album
Dear onbe0362 -tho you basically speaka-da-tr u t h we must nevertheless all allow these great artists their individual legacy coming from within their own gut as well as any inspiration bequeathed by & percolating through those greats you highlighted! --they each LIVE on for us all in the pantheon of gifted muscians.
I've been playing and listening to the tenor sax for forty years now, and I gotta say, Zoot is my hero. Of all the great tenor players...so m e t h i n g about his sound just knocks me out...my man Zoot!
Zoot is great, but he, like Stan ( Getz ) and the rest of like-soundin g Tenors are TOTALLY inspired bythe oe-and-only Prez ( Lester Young ).
In fact,Prez used to say that while all of his ' sons ' were making money HE was broke.
Let's keep in mind the Three Titans of the Tenor : Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young and Ben Webster; ALL the others stem from one of those three.
The TS; WHAT an instrument !, and how lucky we are to have had ALL those FABULOUS players.
whew...dude is nice
very smooth timeless, i listened to Zoot when I was 15, now I'm 76 still sounds great
This Guy and his horn are one in the same. Totally awesome!
The reason we don't hear Zoot Sims on FM Jazz Stations is because most are PBS, and are race biased. You hear very few pieces by non-Black musicians on PBS because they believe Jazz is Black classical music.
Zoot contributed in so many ways to modern jazz. JUst listen to his sets with the Mulligan Quartet on the California concerts.
guidcouns
I enjoy listening to him. I have him on one of my 33's and he's very good.
I saw Zoot a couple of times. Once in 66 in New York and again in the 70's at a workshop as part of a Jazz class with Willis Conover at the University of Maryland. I was impressed by his musicality and effortless technique. He was a fine musician.
Why don't we hear more of Zoot on broadcast/st r e a m i n g jazz radio stations nowadays?
jrvinson45
One of my favorite jazz quotes is "Zoot Sims swings like a wrecking ball." Unfortunatel y I don't remember where I read it.

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