The band's fifth album features 11 tracks. Kicking off with the infectious single 'Solid Gold', followed by the introspective 'Ordinary Face', regret fuelled 'I Said It Again' and 60's soul inspired 'Haunt Me'. Adding to the arsenal of synth-pop, a contribution from Kylie Minogue who features on the epic ballad 'Still Feels Like The First Time'. The resulting sound contains some of the most uplifting pop melodies they've ever delivered, proving them to be genre-defying artists for the 21st century.
The slightly unusual date Two Jims and a Zoot features tenor saxophonist Zoot Sims interacting with two guitarists (Jimmy Raney and Jim Hall) while given subtle support by bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Osie Johnson. Although the eight selections (none of which caught on as standards) had all been written recently and sometimes display the influence of bossa nova, the quiet performances could pass for 1954 rather than 1964. The cool-toned improvisations and boppish playing have a timeless quality about them although for the time period aspects of this music already sounded a bit old-fashioned.
Like fellow Aussies the Sherbs, Zoot never escaped teen-star status. But as Zoot Locker proves, they were certainly adapt at churning out clever pop tracks. Because of their time period, Zoot used every trick in the psychedelic book; but most songs maintain the three-minute mark, resulting in shrewd and skewered singles much like the Move delivered. Innocent innocuousness such as "Monty & Me" about walking the dog or "One Times Two Times Three Times Four" seems unfairly buried in the past. Of course, Beatles nods abound, such as the Lennon-isms of "Hey Pinky." With this smoking version of "Eleanor Rigby" the quartet attempted to jettison their early "pink" image, jumping aboard the bizarre "heavy covers" bandwagon with Vanilla Fudge and Rare Earth. The Hollies are another pervasive influence ("Flying" shares rhyme schemes with "Dear Eloise" over a "Helter Skelter" riff) while "Mr Songwriter" echoes the Byrds by way of Dylan. "Freak" foreshadows "Highway Star" and many Sweet moments.
HighNote finally issued this unreleased 1973 live date that puts leader Zoot Sims in the company of pianist Jimmy Rowles, bassist George Mraz and drummer Mousie Alexander. Most of the tunes are standards, but there is a rather rare Sims appearance on the soprano saxophone on "Rocking in Rhythm." The sound here is fine for a club performance though the players are a tad raw. That said, the performance, particularly that of Rowles, is swinging, hot, and blue.
This is a classic encounter in the Original Jazz Classics series. Pianist Count Basie (in his best-small group outing of the 1970s) and tenor saxophonist Zoot Sims were mutually inspired by each other's presence and, with the tasteful assistance of bassist John Heard and drummer Louie Bellson, they can be heard playing at the peak of their creative powers. Every listener interested in swinging jazz should pick up this disc, if only to hear these hard-charging versions of "I Never Knew," "It's Only a Paper Moon," and "Honeysuckle Rose." A gem, and essential music.
Al Cohn and Zoot Sims were lifelong friends who were frequent collaborators both in the studios and in clubs. Cohn only led four recording sessions (two for tiny labels) during 1963-74; all featured Sims. For their Sonet date, Al and Zoot are joined by pianist Horace Parlan, bassist Hugo Rasmussen and drummer Sven Erik Norregaard and they perform three standards, two Cohn songs and Jimmy McGriff's "Motoring Along." Zoot plays some effective soprano on "Yardbird Suite." As usual the two saxophonists mutually inspire each other on the cool-toned but frequently-heated bop date.