Zoot Sims, Down Home (Bethlehem)
One of the later albums in Bethlehem’s reissue series presents the tenor saxophonist in a rollicking 1960 quartet session. Sims and pianist Dave McKenna were often together in the New York loft scene of the fifties and sixties. Bassist George Tucker broke in with Earl Bostic, Sonny Stitt and John Coltrane. Drummer Dannie Richmond was most often employed with Charles Mingus. What might have seemed an unlikely combination of musicians from different branches of modern jazz melded into a hard-swinging date. The repertoire comes from the Basie book, standard songs and inevitablygiven the predelictions of the playersa down-home blues. In another important Bethlehem reissue, Sims joins fellow tenor man Booker Ervin in Ervin’s own album with Tucker, Richmond, pianist Tommy Flanagan and trumpeter Tommy Turrentine. The series is now up to 25 albums.