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4.6 out of 5 stars14
4.6 out of 5 stars
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This recently released CD couples two albums from 1961 recorded live at Ronnie Scott's Club over three evenings. Why was this a piece of history? The answer is simple; it features an American! Not unusual now, but at that time there was a mutual ban on the exchange of musicians between here and the USA. Ronnie Scott moved "heaven and earth" and an appearance by Zoot Sims was arranged in Britain. That is Zoot Sims singular, no other Americans! He appeared at Ronnie's accompanied by the "house band". British trios were considered to lag behind the Americans, but not at Ronnie's. The house trio was lead by a young Stan Tracey (recently deceased). We all know that Stan became the elder statesman of British (indeed World) jazz and is solely missed. He plays superbly on this album, accompanied by Kenny Napper (b) and Jackie Dougan (d).

On this CD the trio accompany Zoot on six of the eleven tracks (all recorded live at the night club). The highlight for me remains the opening track, 13 minutes of "Love For Sale". I say remains for I bought one of the original releases on vinyl over fifty years ago (and stupidly sold it twenty years ago when so many of us changed from vinyl to tape and CD). I've been awaiting this release on CD for over twenty years.

Every one of these quartet recordings are absolutely brilliant in every respect. We have a young American (36 yrs) at the top of his illustrious career and three Brits showing just how good our best musicians were. An equal to many Americans whom we could only hear on record.

Because Zoot didn't play continuously, we are fortunate to have tracks from the two support bands, one of which was the Ronnie Scott- Jimmy Deuchar quintet, who get two tracks (both excellent, especially "The Haunted Jazz Club"), and Zoot joins them on a third (Desperation).

The remaining two tracks feature the wonderful West Indian immigrant, Harold McNair, who brought much skill and enjoyment to the London jazz scene of that period.( I remember him very well). HMc played both alto and flute, and we have a track featuring each. He is accompanied by Terry Shannon (p), Jeff Clyne (b) and master drummer Phil Seaman.

To summarise we have nearly 80 minutes of superb jazz from 1961 (although it is as fresh today as it was then) featuring the first American to play Ronnie Scott's Club, plus Ronnie's great quintet, and McNair's quartet. All recordings a piece of history, but this is an important time in British Jazz.

There is a very informative booklet written by Simon Spillett to accompany this CD.

History apart, a marvellous CD fully deserving six stars! Buy it quickly, deprive yourself no longer.
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on 12 July 2015
The music on this CD is so astonishingly great that I cannot withhold five stars - but it is NOT in fact "The Complete Recordings" ... not quite!

After years of producing exceptionally fine music, Zoot seems more inspired than ever during his 1961 residency at Ronnie Scott's, and his British accompanists play wonderfully too. The passion, the wit, the invention never flag. The original releases were two LPs: "Zoot at Ronnie Scott's" and "Solo For Zoot". A budget-label, single-disc reissue in the mid-sixties ("Cookin'") omitted a few tracks and edited the others - in some cases drastically (the magnificent 'Love For Sale' was reduced from 12'36" to 6'10"!)

Previous CD issues were - irritatingly - based on the edited versions; so one is grateful that on this Acrobat CD all of the tracks from the "Zoot at Ronnie Scott's" album are now heard in full; but three of the four tracks from "Solo For Zoot" are still the truncated versions.

Nevertheless, every jazz fan should hear this CD, even if it is to some extent a missed opportunity.
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Id this on vinyl which was stolen and I couldn't replace it _ - Now thanks given it is here again. I remember Zoot playing with John Dankworth's band at the original Cavern Club in Liverpool - the true Cavern was a JAZZ CLUB
And I sat right in front of the Zoot drowned by his artistry. He couldn't have seen the parts for long but he read them perfectly. I actually spoke to him that night and he was very (quietly) funny a true great - he installed a match size table tennis table in his app. In New York to his wife's disbelief. So glad to be able to hear this music again and I include Stan Tracey and the great rhythm section. You gotta get this!!

W
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on 9 January 2015
A "must" for all admirers of this superb Tenor Sax player. Zoot Sims never fails to please and this recording has the added interest of being of the first American Star to appear at Ronnie Scott's.
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on 20 February 2015
One of the last great tenor players, before musicians entered the "I know More Modes than you do" versus the "I can play all the scales faster than you"
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on 29 August 2014
This CD. was delivered within four days. Zoot was on fire. The rest of the musicians (all Brits!!) were on the same wavelength and I can only imagine what it was like being in the audience for those sessions.
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on 1 August 2014
Warning for anyone who buys this album! My CD case and the CD within were printed as advertised with the title 'Zoot Sims at Ronnie Scott's 1961'. The recorded tracks are by a completely different set of artists! I've bought literally thousands of CDs in my life and have never experienced anything like this before. What's going on with this label?
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on 22 October 2014
Excellent album with good UK supportmusicians
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on 11 November 2015
Zoot Sims, one of my Jazz idols, performed to expectations on this album.
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on 9 August 2015
Absolutely terrific album. I really love this guy's playing. But it!
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