These four albums date from the 13 months January 1956 to February 1957, a busy time for Sims, who swings fluently throughout. "From A to Z" is the first of [at least ] five small group albums Zoot and Al Cohn co-led. On this one Dave McKenna plays piano. "Whooeee" originally a Storyville album has also been issued on Black Lion as "Morning fun", and has Hank Jones at the keyboard and Bob Brookmeyer on trombone. "Zoot", original issued on Argo with the title "That old feeling" is a quartet date with the under-rated John Williams on piano. "Four brothers together again" was Serge Chaloff's last recording, and although suffering from a spinal tumour, he plays well with his old colleagues from Woody's band. Herbie Steward and Cohn make up the four, and this is also a rare opportunity to hear the former. This is all good modern jazz of its period, and the two CD set is astonishingly good value.
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Benny Green once said that Zoot's playing had very often lifted his spirits, and I couldn't agree more when applied to me. He was the tenor player for tenor players. Tubby Hayes said "even Zoot" in a reference to other tenormen who he admired. Tubby was a wonderful musician but he didn't swing like Zoot. This is a steal the music is great.