Along with his album with Count Basie (Basie and Zoot) during the same period, this is one of Sims' most exciting recordings of his career. Greatly assisted by pianist Oscar Peterson, guitarist Joe Pass, bassist George Mraz, and drummer Grady Tate, he explores ten songs written by George and Ira Gershwin. Somehow the magic was definitely present and, whether it be stomps such as "The Man I Love," "Lady Be Good," and "I Got Rhythm" or warm ballads (including "I've Got a Crush on You" and "Embraceable You"), Zoot Sims is heard at the peak of his powers. A true gem.
A few great slices of work by Zoot Sims – material recorded over a variety of sessions for Pacific Jazz – but all of it pretty darn great! Sims wasn't as much of a west coast hornman as some of the other leaders on Pacific Jazz – so the array of tracks makes for some surprising moments, both in Zoot's career, and for the label. Side one of the album has Zoot playing with a Gerry Mulligan ensemble on titles that include "I'll Remember April", "Red Door", and "Flamingo". Side two features Zoot playing instrumentals that were cut at the same time as an Annie Ross vocal session – with a group that includes Russ Freeman on piano, Jim Hall on guitar, and Mel Lewis on drums. Titles on that one are "You're Driving Me Crazy", "Brushes", and "Choice Blues".
A rare gem from Zoot Sims – very different than any of his other albums! The session features Zoot blowing over large backings arranged and conducted by Gary McFarland, a bit in the older Verve "with strings" mode, but also sparkling with a lot of the newer elements that McFarland was bringing to his work at the time. The approach is both light and lush at the same time – and Zoot's got a tone and approach that we've never heard on any other record, making the whole album an incredible treat that we'd rank up there with Stan Getz's experiments of the same type from the 60s. Titles include "I Wish I Knew", "Does The Sun Really Shine On The Moon", "Once We Loved", "Old Folks", "September Song", "Stella By Starlight", and "Once I Could Have Loved".
Reissue features the latest digital remastering and the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player) and the latest DSD / HR Cutting remastering. Comes with a description. Features the original LP designs. A unique all-star set recorded in various combinations between 1949 and 1951, Conception is an underappreciated masterpiece of cerebral cool jazz. Although Miles Davis gets top billing, he appears on only half the album and then most often as a sideman with only occasional solos. Saxophonists Lee Konitz, Stan Getz, and Gerry Mulligan are the true stars of the album, with Konitz particularly shining.
Reissue with the latest remastering. Features original cover artwork. Comes with a descripton in Japanese. Although this recording of standards was made late in his career, tenor saxophonist Al Cohn was in peak form and clearly inspired by an excellent Dutch rhythm section. Cohn's very broad tone is much in evidence, as he runs through changes on tunes that he played innumerable times in his career. A distinct stylist, Cohn was never an innovator, but his lush, relaxed, carefully honed sound was perfect for the late nightclub atmosphere. Every solo was deliberately constructed, mixing just the right amounts of emotion and technique. You can hear Coleman Hawkins in his playing, but Cohn incorporated broad influences from the early history of bop. Pianist Rein de Graff is stunning throughout, and drummer Eric Ineke and bassist Koos Serierse add solid support.