Where bop met swing is where Zoot Sims loved to hang out, and this lost tape from 1958 gives a textbook lesson in what happened in that glorious crash collision. Why the gig is not on Jazz Haus' Legends Live series, an extremely impressive ongoing archaeological effort saving prime gigs from oblivion, I haven't clue, as Sims was a very big name back in his day, but it's more than sufficient that the great jazz imprint rescued the music at all (which, in this case, had seen 1988 publication but of such lower quality that the difference between that and this is breathtaking), come what may, devil take the hindmost.
Nor is Lost Tapes so much a Sims gala but more a jam session with Zoot absenting himself on three cuts in order to give other players a better showcase. The equally talented Hans Koller appears alongside him and the two go to it with a will. However, Koller on his own is just as strong, as in the episodic take on Richard Rodgers' Fallin' in Love. Sims had met the gent while touring with Benny Goodman and was knocked out by his ultra-cool approach to the style. Koller was in fact was Europe's leading go-to guy on tenor sax, so Joachim-Ernst Berendt got the pair together with a bunch of others in a studio concert (with audience) and let the tapes roll.
The result just goes to prove what an incredibly disciplined bunch the jazz players were over 50 years ago, sitting in a sound that still hasn't quite been equaled no matter how hard more modern musicians have tried. And in case you recognize the hard-edged drumbeat in this confab, yep, it's the great Kenny Clarke…catch his solo in Open Door; wow!…letting his hair down along with fellow jazzbos. Note also that three of the cuts were written by the group's pianist, Hans Hammerschmid, including the selfsame Open Door, which could've stood as a textbook lesson for John Bonham and some of rock's cleverer drummers. If, like me, you're finding yourself in an epiphany of interest regarding the swing years once again, then you need to also find your way to this disc 'cause it shines with a luster that hasn't dimmed in half a century.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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