The very complementary tenors Al Cohn and Zoot Sims (whose similar styles often made them sound almost identical) teamed up many times through the years; this reissue brings back their first joint recording. Joined by either Dave McKenna or Hank Jones on piano, bassist Milt Hinton, drummer Osie Johnson, and (on some selections) the forgotten trumpeter Dick Sherman, Al and Zoot avoid obvious material ("Somebody Loves Me" and "East of the Sun" are the only standards) in favor of swinging "modern" originals by Cohn, Sherman, Osie Johnson, Ralph Burns, Manny Albam, Ernie Wilkins, and Milty Gold. Zoot contributed "Tenor for Two Please, Jack," his answer to the song "Dinner for One Please, James." [Some releases add four alternate takes to the original 12-song program, giving one a good example of the occasional Cohn-Sims musical partnership.]
Backed by some of the top bop players of the day, Al Cohn stretches out here for a program heavy with up-tempo swingers. Cut in two sessions during 1950 and 1953, Cohn's Tones finds the usually more mellow tenor great feeding off the driving drum work of both Tiny Kahn and Max Roach. Besides the ballad evergreen "How Long Has This Been Going On" and a bluesy "Ah-Moore," the eight-track set is all Cohn originals done in a Lester Young-on-the-West Coast style. Also featuring the talents of pianist Horace Silver, this early Cohn release is at once hot and cool, vigorous and lithe.
Shostakovich’s atmospheric Eleventh Symphony recounts the events surrounding the First Russian Revolution of 1905, while reflecting on the brutality of the later Soviet regime. Its cinematic depiction of winter cold and military might is utterly compelling, and never more so than under the baton of the composer’s friend Mstislav Rostropovich.