Jazz ImmortalSaturday, July 27, 2013
I have kept most of the jazz records I have ever purchased. Many are in impeccable shape and I am able to listen to them in the comfort of my living room.
Today I listened to the first jazz album I ever purchased in the late 50s. I bought it used from a fellow student at St. Edward’s High School. I was a ninth grader and I have no memory of what record player I might have listened it to in the dorm where I lived. The record is a Verve recording called The Magic Flute of Herbie Mann.
I have always had a kind heart and predilection for tenor saxophonist Zoot Sims. In my collection (it certainly must be rare) is a terribly named Zoot Sims record called New Beat – Bossa Nova- means the Samba Swings/Zoot Sims and his orchestra. It is a beautiful record that is unusual as it has two guitar players, Jim Hall and Kenny Burrell.
But one of my most favourite of all is Zoot Sims/Choice in which his stellar cast of sidemen includes both Gerry Mulligan (baritone saxophone) and Bobby Brookmeyer (valve trombone).
Most jazz aficionados might know that Mulligan pioneered the concept of the piano-less quartet in which his solo partner, usually on trumpet or trombone had a really tough job as there was no piano around. But perhaps fewer might know that both Mulligan and Brookmeyer played a tough piano and they liked to be in groups where they would alternate on playing it. This is the delightful case in Zoot Sims/Choice.
Not too far from Zoot Sims/Choice in my appreciation is Jazz Immortal/Clifford Brown. The sidemen with Clifford Brown are Zoot Sims on tenor sax, Bob Gordon, baritone saxophone, Stu Williamson on valve trombone, Russ Freeman on piano, Carson Smith and Joe Mondragon on bass and Shelly Manne on drums.
I challenge those who might read this blog and spot the link in facebook to post jazz record covers that might just be better than this one of Clifford Brown taken by photographer William Claxton. The one of Zoot Sims is pretty good, too.