Here is an album of Duke Ellington compositions arranged and conducted by Benny Carter, with Zoot Sims as principal soloist. Add those names to the list of musicians in the adjoining display and you get a total greater than the sum of its parts. Among the many albums Sims made for Pablo, the Ellington project was particularly close to his heart. The Ellington band of 1940 and '41 was a formative influence on the young tenor man setting out on his career. The great tenor saxophonist Ben Webster's solos profoundly affected him. It is true that his tone was closer to Lester Young's, but Webster's conception was always a major component of Sims's style, and toward the end of his life Zoot's sound took on more of Webster's heft and darkness. Fittingly, he and Webster's favorite pianist, Jimmy Rowles, do Bojangles to a rare turn, and Sims gives an achingly beautiful reading of Duke's "Your Love Has Faded."
with J.J. Johnson, Britt Woodman, Oscar Brashear, Plas Johnson, Buddy Collette, Frank Wess, Jimmy Rowles, Andy Simpkins, John Heard, Michael Moore, Grady Tate, Shelly Manne, and others